“You might not remember us, but we met in the 90s.”
Microsoft’s new ad for Internet Explorer wants to capitalize on our collective nostalgia. Hungry Hippos, floppy disks, Oregon Trail, snap bracelets, bowl haircuts, and slow Internet access. Microsoft just doesn’t understand that while we may fondly remember the items in the ad, we are never ever going to associate Internet Explorer in the same vein. The end of the ad shows Microsoft’s Surface tablet as if browsing via IE on Surface could bring back some sort of mythological experience of yesterday. I loved the ad until the big reveal. All of those memories that it triggers somehow feel betrayed by a company that is completely out of touch with those of us who exist in 2013. A companion website was created to coincide with the ad: “The Browser You Loved to Hate.” Why would they ever want to remind us that “back in the day,” we rushed to Netscape and warmly embraced Firefox. Anything but IE was better than suffering through the default browser on a Windows PC. In 2013, Chrome and Safari have captured our clicks. Microsoft has tried dubstep in previous ads to appeal to our cool sides while this ad appeals to memories that aren’t exactly friendly to good old Microsoft.
With the closing tagline, “Reconnect with the new Internet Explorer,” Microsoft is asking us to do something that feels hollow. Why should we reconnect with something that even Microsoft acknowledges that we “used to hate?”