Whispering the words “Internet Explorer” can evoke several reactions: nostalgia, humor, and, yes, even anger from its many detractors.
With the arrival of Windows 8, the latest edition of the Microsoft operating system, the company is poking light fun at itself and drawing attention to the emotional connection people have with Explorer in the marketing campaign: “The Browser You Loved To Hate.”
Internet Explorer 10 displays a clean interface with fresh features addressing many of the issues surrounding the internet today, including privacy, design, and speed. IE10, which Microsoft describes as “fast, fluid, perfect for touch,” appears to be all of these things and more. The browser has smooth, swipe-forward technology, allowing users to scroll effortlessly through news stories like never before.
But, Microsoft isn’t advertising these new features; instead, the company wants to show that they understand the feelings associated with their slightly infamous browser.
In a 2-minute YouTube video titled “Do you know this guy?” Microsoft introduces tongue-in-cheek humor to give people a reason to download IE10. The man in the video is an internet troll, scouring all the latest tech blogs discussing the new Internet Explorer and commenting “IE SUCKS.” Though staring at his computer screen in a dark room, this character appears relatable to the common internet user, at least in his sentiments.
For many years, Internet Explorer has been the laughing stock of browsers. A study, which has since been proven to be a hoax, compared Internet browser use with IQ, concluding that Internet Explorer users have the lowest average IQ. So, it comes as no surprise why this internet buff spends his time trashing the update.
Yet, by the end of the video, the antagonist loses his bitterness towards IE10. Microsoft then reveals its tagline for this new marketing campaign: “Progress. Comebacks come in many shapes and sizes.”
Despite the obvious appeal of this video, which now has more than 2 million views, nearly 18,000 likes, and has inspired more than 4,000 comments. But does a clever video make a successful marketing campaign that will lead to sales? Maybe.
On the other hand, Microsoft was aiming to make a video that people would want to watch and share, which certainly increases the browser’s mind share among savvy internet users who undoubtedly caught wind of this viral clip. At the very least, it will boost Microsoft’s e-reputation within the web browser space, as it looks as though Microsoft might still know what its audience cares about. In the end, that may be exactly what they needed to accomplish.