3You Don't Have To Put On The Red Light For Microsoft Office
Now, which of you hasn't had to prostitute yourself in order to get access to Microsoft Word or Powerpoint in order to finish a school assignment? This 2003 New Zealand print ad nails that common problem.
"Of course!" you or I might say to ourselves. "I would gladly pay $199 to no longer have to sleep with stuck-up rich women so I can borrow their computers to do schoolwork."
That ad was pulled after only a short period of time, probably by old fogeys that don't understand what it's like to have to do uggo chicks every time you have a paper due.
The Microsoft Songsmith ad was created entirely by the developers that actually wrote the software, so you already know you'll be in for a treat. I can think of no ad where the amount of genuine love expressed for the product has been greater, nor the actual effectiveness of the ad been lower.
Songsmith is allegedly a software that can automatically create flawless background music to go along with a tune you sing into the microphone. The ad starts with a dad (Dan Morris, one of Songsmith's creators) playing an adman who needs to come up with a jingle for, I kid you not, glow in the dark towels.
He's not even singing here. This is how wide his mouth opens when he talks. No joke.
Looking at this character, you'll probably assume that the ad agency came up with this imaginary project to create an excuse to fire him. "Dan, if you can't convincingly sell these, uh, glow-in-the-dark towels by um, tomorrow morning, you're gone." But no, everyone in this universe is apparently equally annoying, starting with his daughter Lisa...
...who is Songsmithing away while he mopes about his glowing towel problem. She introduces him to Songsmith--the "cool new thing" as she puts it--and he realizes this could be the key to his stupid towel jingle.
So of course he steals his daughter's laptop.
Which, as some people have pointed out, seems to be a Mac with a sticker strategically placed over the Apple logo. In order to work on his song privately, he leaves a home that seems to house three people, and goes to a busy Starbucks.
Where he meets Sumit. The character has no name, but he is played by Sumit Basu, the other co-creator of Songsmith. Dan and Sumit act amazed at what Songsmith can do, which is about as convincing as you would expect.
After Sumit uses the laptop to write a love song so terrible it would make the most hardcore music snob long for Justin Bieber (it's actually written to Songsmith), Dan finishes his jingle and presents it at work. As he sings, his co-worker reacts with probably the most realism of any character in this ad:
But their boss is just as insane as every other character.
And Dan gets the account. That's it, you think. He gets no punishment for everything he's done to us, the viewers? Well, the ad isn't over yet. Divine retribution has its way soon enough.
When he returns home, he and his wife find they have been cursed to conduct all communication in Songsmith-backed tunes for the rest of their lives. The commercial fades to black before you actually see them commit suicide but it's obviously implied.
Songsmith's marketing and release was left wholly up to its creators, with Microsoft product development and marketing inexplicably washing their hands of it. Once it was out in the wild, it was ripped to shreds by merciless YouTube video-makers showing exactly how badly the software worked with well-known songs, like Queen's "We Will Rock You":
Also enjoy some Van Halen: