Look at the new Windows ad. Cheryl’s house is turned into a computer store so she can get a new computer. I thought Windows was only sold in Best Buys, but apparently it’s in Apple stores as well. Up the stairs is the Really Smart Person Counter.
The ad is straightforward, and it’s not. All ads sell a product, of course, but they also sell other things which require vigilance: aspirational images (like the black man in the Nivea ad); behavior patterns (“sure you should eat at this restaurant, but also this is what good food looks like; this is what well dressed and attractive people look like, this is what they do.” Sometimes the ads even sell the ad agency, “look how clever we are!”
In this ad, her problem is she wants a new computer. No, wait, actually she doesn’t want a new computer, the ad explicitly says she doesn’t. “[She has a] four year old computer she doesn’t think she needs to update, so to show her what she’s missing…” She needs to be convinced.
She’s given dozens of choices, and a tech savvy guide to explain it all to her. Yet what draws her in, each and every time, is the design. “Where’s the tower?” It’s all in here! And why not spin the spinny thing for a while? Squares call it a “monitor.” “I like this one,” she says as she strokes it like a new car/penis.
At the end, she triumphantly holds up the closest Windows product to a Macbook– a Sony Vaio– and says, “I’m finally up to date!” That’s right: Windows 7, finally in gunmetal.
Following this ad’s logic, then what she needed to update, after all, wasn’t the RAM or the processor, but the design. And through the alchemy of retail, she has also updated herself. She feels young again, even at 40 something, and she only spent 2/3 of what a Macbook would have cost her. Her eHarmony friends will be like, “no way, that is so neat!”