Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Hope You Like Seeing This Microsoft Surface Ad, Over and Over and Over

Here’s one reason to do a pre-launch event months before your official launch event: It lets you advertise the thing you’re going to start selling, before you start selling it.

Thus: Here’s an ad for Microsoft’s new Surface tablet, which we first looked at in June, but which won’t make its official official debut until the last week of October.

As Advertising Age notes, Microsoft has already started pushing this one out throughout the prime time TV schedule. And it is trying to gin up some extra publicity by keeping the identity of the agency behind the ad a secret. Which should generate great interest among … a couple thousand people? (Update: Here’s part of the mystery solved: choreographer John Chu, the guy behind “The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers,” says he directed the spot.)

Just in case that doesn’t work, Microsoft will spend a bajillion dollars promoting the tablet and Windows 8, so get used to this one.

Not to beat this into the ground, but you’ll note that we have yet to see any ads for the new iPad Mini, which is also launching in the last week of October. That’s not how Apple works. On the other hand, they’re not unhappy if folks like us talk about the thing nonstop until then.

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald