Apple-style product-porn ads have become a marketing cliché, but this new video by Microsoft for its new Surface Studio all-in-one computer arguably out-Apples Apple and sets a ridiculously high new bar for the genre.
With an orchestral cover of "Pure Imagination" (originally sung by Gene Wilder in "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory") as the soundtrack, the video opens with the usual close-up product shots. We see seductive slow pans of the Surface Studio's shiny, machined edges in a darkened room, but then magic starts to happen: hinges, screws and other parts float in mid-air and come together, like NASA probes balletically docking in space.
Forty seconds in, to symphonic swells, we pull back and see the entire Surface Studio, putting the focus on what Microsoft is calling "the world's thinnest LCD monitor" (12.5mm), 28 inches across and positively pulsing with color, thanks to its 13.5 million-pixel resolution.
Fifty seconds in, as the soundtrack lulls, a human enters the frame and gently touches the screen, showing off the computer's ability to seamlessly transition from a desktop PC to an angled drawingboard-like workstation. We then see an artist actually using the Surface Studio, creating beautiful images and generally embracing the spirit of "pure imagination." The music swells once again before the video shifts to a montage of Microsoft's new baby in half a dozen different elegant workspaces, from a design studio to a home office, suggesting that this is the perfect machine for everyone.
Given that it starts at $2,999 (and has a $4,199 version), it's not -- but we can all still dream, can't we?
The film was created in-house at Microsoft in partnership with LA-based Black Ops.
UPDATE: Microsoft reached out to Creativity with details on the ad's soundtrack. According to Kathleen Hall, Microsoft Corporate VP-Global Advertising and Media, the vocal is by Stephanie Tarling, "an up-and-coming actor and musician who is currently working on her first studio album to be released in 2017. This is her first commercial recording. The song was arranged and produced by Nathan Lanier, a composer for film and television best known for his music for 'Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn,' 'High Strung' and Universal's 'Jem and the Holograms.' He also composed and produced the track music to Microsoft's first Super Bowl commercial."
You can download the song free here.