Microsoft’s latest “family” commercial features Messenger across Phone, Xbox and PC

By Tom Warren, on 28th Oct 11 11:15 am with 59 Comments

Microsoft’s latest “it’s a great time to be a family” commercial features Windows Live Messenger across Windows Phone and Windows 7.

The new ad campaign aims to demonstrate Microsoft’s broad product portfolio and the integration across Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox and Office. The first 30 second spots aired earlier this month across the world. The concept has been put together by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the agency responsible for launching Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.

Microsoft’s “their wedding” commercial centers on a couple announcing their plans for a wedding. A relative is shown using Xbox Kinect to video chat to the couple via Windows Live Messenger on their PC. The couple then create an Excel document to register guests interest in the wedding. Slowly but surely the couple get inundated with Windows Live Messenger messages ranging from band suggestions to guests stating their allergies. The couple close their laptop but the messages continue on the Windows Phone. The commercial ends with a smile and the message “it’s a great time to be a family.”

The latest advert follows two similar spots aired earlier this month. The first two failed to impress the majority of WinRumors readers. Sean M commented that “Microsoft needs to fire their advertising agency ASAP,” and Matt wasn’t a fan. “The actors expressions are terrible,” he said in a comment on our original story. Is this latest effort better? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Anonymous

    Hidden Nokia reference

    • Anonymous

      HA! Excellent. Well played good sir.

    • ThatShedKid

      its not a reference… like most pretencious assholes, youre looking too deeply into what the author wrote, or in this case, said. #YouPuppiesIsCrazayyy

    • ThatShedKid

      its not a reference… like most pretentious assholes, youre looking too deeply into what author wrote, or in this case, said. Simple dialogue does not always need to fulfill some subtle metaphoric level, it can simply be. Hit me back wit another word (commonly understood, mind you) that has the same definition and can serve the same purpose if you truly believe its a Nokia reference! #YouPuppiesIsCrazayyy

    • Anonymous

      You sir, need a hug. 

    • Tom W

       haha :) “We’re eloping.”

    • Thu Win

      How is it refering to Nokia :confused:

    • JR Blas

      “ELOPING” stephen elop, the head of nokia

    • Roxie

      Yes I love this!!! when will it air onT. V.??????

  • Matthew Johnston

    I like the idea, but it kind of makes me feel like if I used Messenger, I’d be overwhelmed by contact and not be able to get away from people. 

    • WixosTrix

      That’s what I was thinking, but you could just sign out. It still could seem a little unsettling for some.

  • Tim Acheson

    This is a truly exciting industry.

  • Louis Sandiford

    Too complicated. If they kept it simple, with a clear message and decent music, then more people would ‘get’ it.

    • J A

      They just simply need to learn from Apple’s ads. Simple clear and straight to the point, they don’t even need actors.

    • WixosTrix

      Because that’s what we need, less jobs. Their marketing teams need to just better utilizes their actors and the actors need to act more like realistic people and not actors.

    • Anonymous

      That description reminds me of the first batch of Kinect commericials. The Kinect Adventures! and Kinectimals commercials were very well done.

    • Manu Narayan

      Did the same agency do Kinect or was that a different agency?  If it was different they need to use them more often.  The Kinect ads were one of the better consumer ad campaigns that Microsoft has run.

    • Anonymous

      Not sure. I would guess that they are different agencies. Just look at the styles. The Kinect ads used great songs that worked wonderfully with the product they were advertising. Not to mention the actors really came off as being into the product.

      I must have watched those commercials dozens of times with my daughter.

    • Guest

      Don’t know. This one is definitely Crispin. It’s got the usual whacky stupid useless hallmarks.

  • OctalMan

    Im I the only one who likes this ad???

    • OctalMan

      Though I have to say the ending kinda ruined it for me.

    • Anonymous

      it should be coming. I don’t know for sure but i think Windows Live Essentials is due an upgrade very soon. Maybe Tom has more details on that.

    • Jantje

      No I did too,  but it would seem we’re the minority… :)

    • Jonny Rose

      I liked it too, much better than the previous one.

    • rojo

      I liked it as well.

      While I appreciate MS for trying to show how their products work together, I think they need to be focusing on specific features of their products.

    • Nicole Claire

      I thought it was cute

    • Jay Swanson

      It’ll happen. At the moment, the UI matches Windows 7 very well. Come the release of Windows 8, all the Live Essentials apps will get a Metro revamp.

      Edit: meant to reply to your next post

    • OctalMan

      Coming to think of it, you are actually right..I guess we’ll just have to wait ’til Windows 8 is here.

  • mark

    They  should’ve used Skype instead

    • Anonymous

      oh that’s coming buddy… that’s coming.

  • Jubbin Grewal

    Much better on the ads here. I found it more entertaining and the acting more realistic. That said, it’s still not up to par with say the advertsing Apple is famous for (which just sticks in your head). Right track though.

  • Adam Haider

    “The new ad campaign aims to demonstrate Microsoft’s broad product portfolio and the integration across Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox and Office”

    I disagree. The new ad campaign actually just demonstrates how monumentally ugly the Live and Office applications are (esp. Live Messenger), including the in-your-face blue background and the retro looking spreadsheet. The reason why their marketing always fails is that they are trying to make everything humorous when the average consumer watching TV won’t understand it because it’s not being communicated properly. Hence keeping it simple!

    • WixosTrix

      The Live Essentials programs just haven’t hit Wave 5 yet. It will get better. And Office is fine. These ads are just simply showing off the Microsoft ecosystem.

  • rojo

    Is it really possible to video chat using Kinect on XBOX with someone on messenger on the PC? The commercial implies that but the looking closely the way it’s edited they didn’t actually show that the other person was on the PC.

    • Shadow 024

      Yes, i believe it is possible.  They demo’d it at an E3 if I remember correctly, though I haven’t bothered looking the feature up.

      Edit: 30 second search:
      feature confirmed

    • Anonymous

      yes, I even use messenger on my Macbook Pro to video chat with my parents on their Kinect. Its pretty decent, for a free service (well not free, as you need xbox live gold acc to use the video kinect capabilities  but for £40+ per year, my parents are happy to pay that to chat with me face-to-face across the Atlantic ocean)

    • JimmyFal

      It’s not just decent, it is one of the best Kinect features that is buried and not quite implemented right. You can have a crowd of people in the living room video chatting with someone on Messenger. The Kinect camera will actually follow people around the room and zoom in on whoever is talking. And it sounds like  you are all in the same room. It is quite spectacular and really needs to be put up front and center. I am really hoping that this next XBOX update covers that, and that SKYPE is right around the corner for it.

  • Lewis McCrary

    It’s better than the others.

  • Anonymous

    This is definately a better ad than the first two. My wife and I both watched it at the same time and immediately looked at each other with a smile when it was over.

    • Louis Sandiford

      I feel for you… I really do…

    • Shiro

      I concur. 

  • Anonymous

    Anyone know what laptop that is that the parents use to send the wedding invitation list from? Looks rather slick.

  • Rey..Rey..Reynaldi

    i don’t get it

  • Anonymous

    absolutely nothing about that ad makes me want to buy any product nor will I remember WTF it was about when I see said product. I know college freshmen who can make more effective ads than these multi million dollar firms. fail.

    • Anonymous

      It’s trying to build mindshare about the MSFT ecosystem, not sell a specific product. Stop drinking the Apple kool-aid of silo-making.

  • Anonymous

    it’s a cute commercial, but are they advertising messenger? That is the only product that I remember from that commercial. The others just kind of flash across the screen. I didn’t even realize they were using kinect  to video chat.

    • Shadow 024

      They’re advertising cross platform chatting. They should have shown the kinect better, but they did show her in front of the TV.  It does go with what people are saying that it’s a bit confusing.

  • Binggle

    The “Family” of Phone, PC, Xbox is widening. It’s great

  • WixosTrix

    O think some of you are missing the point of these ads. They aren’t advertising a specific product, they are just showing how the Microsoft family of products work seamlessly together.

    I’m glad they dropped the “It all starts with a Windows 7 PC” bit, though it actually world have fit here.

    • MyNameHere

      It was there at the end. Did you miss it?

    • Morgan Wisbey

      But if people are missing the point to the ad as you say…. then is it a really good ad? I love my Windows Phone and Xbox360 but I have to say iPhone ads are clear and concise and I can tell exactly how powerful Siri is because it shows people using it. I know what it does and how well it does it. This ad shows quick cuts of people using MS products but it’s so fast, if you aren’t looking for it, you cannot tell that the old lady dancing in front of her TV with the dress is using an Xbox360. (Begs the question why on old lady would have an Xbox360 with Kinect but that is a whole other issue).  They seem more focused on showing the couple getting blasted with multiple messages and then the phone at the end but nothing ties it together. I use MS and I found myself confused. Like what the heck app were they using that showed the guest list within seconds of announcing their pending marriage? MS just tries too hard and packs way too much into their ads that they lose the message. Make an ad like their future ad does. That ad shows products that are 20 years away but I learned more from it than I did from this ad with current tech.

    • Anonymous

      It’s night & day between the “Future vision” video and these latest ads. I can’t understand why Microsoft doesn’t see this.

  • Morgan Wisbey

    Its a great commercial… for those that have actually used Windows Phone and Messenger. Will people on the outside understand that Messenger automatically shifts to the phone or think that the couple is now just getting pounded with text messages?

  • Emi Cyberschreiber

    Really cool ad!
    its funny and nice. i really like it.

  • Anonymous

    I like the concept, wished they had zoomed in a little more on the phone so that it was clear that they were still getting messages from messenger, otherwise it just looks like they got a text on their phone.

  • Avatar Roku

    If you’re not paying close attention you’re not going to notice the Xbox 360. And there’s nothing in the commercial that explains they’re all communicating with Windows Messenger. Great concept, poor execution. 

  • Anonymous

    They need to just let the Office team make videos. The “Productivity Future Vision” is way better then these running ads.

  • Anonymous

    Shame they can’t continue their video calling on the handset… [HINT TO MICROSOFT!]

  • cashlezz

    anyone knows the name of the actor?