Hilarious Microsoft ad: "Office 2010: The Movie"

Microsoft's ad agency Traffik/@radical.media produced this trailer for a godawful thriller based on Office 2010, a kind of 24 meets Enemy of the State thing. As a short comic film, it's a real success -- I laughed aloud at least twice -- but I'm not sure about its value as an advertisement. The humor is in-jokey, aimed at people who already know pretty much everything they need to know about Microsoft and its products and who tend to have their minds made up already (I haven't used Office since switching to the excellent OpenOffice.org years ago, and haven't missed it once; most of the Office users I know upgrade when they get a new version gratis with a new PC). So I suppose that this thing is meant to alert avid Office users to the existence of Office 2010, an hypothesis that is further borne out by the absence of any product info in the ad.

Still, if someone produced a video this funny for the next Ubuntu release, and managed to work in a couple of actual compelling sales messages aimed at proprietary OS users, I'd applaud.

Office 2010: The Movie

(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)


  1. Wow, an ad from Microsoft I don’t mind watching. “Spellcheck *this*: D E D”

    I got ‘not coding’ in my recaptcha. I think it’s chiding me. And it’s right.

  2. A distinct improvement over a bunch of dorks standing around a kitchen island.


    No sale. You…will have to rip…OpenOffice…out of…my…cold…dead…hands…first!!!!

  3. Word 2003 is a passable text editor, with an interface more or less comparable to my Open Office 2.4. The problem is, most institutions have upgraded to Word 2007, which is a gold-plated turd. It’s interface is so complicated it requires a tabbed dashboard. God only knows what kind of monstrosity 2010 will be.

    I complained to the IT person at the local public library about their “upgrade” to Word 2007, and her response was that it was the standard “office productivity software choice” of public libraries and “other organizations” across the country. I told her the fact that the software choice of a bunch of pointy-haired bosses sucked worse than what it replaced was a good argument for user community feedback, but she wasn’t buyin’ it.

    1. Personally I think the Office 2007 upgrade was the most overdue upgrade to an office system in ages. The vast majority of functions you would use regularly are on the first tab. Everything else is grouped in a sensible way and they’ve removed virtually all drop down menus which were always far more confusing than the newer layout.

      After using Word 2007 for about a week I had become far more efficient than I’d ever been at a previous Word release.

      That said I have Open Office installed at home because of the open source nature of the thing.

    2. If they hadn’t then some people would have had problems opening oxml. It would have been cooler if they went openoffice, but an upgrade was needed. Mah wife got an oxml from one of her professers, prompting me to freak out a bit before upgrading our openoffice and thankfully finding support within.

    3. At the Edmonton Public Library, our choice of Office is Open Office 3.1.1. It does most everything MS Office does.

  4. Nice visuals, script and editing. The sound is horrible though. A nice sound mix would bring this to the next level.

  5. I still mourn the death of Word 5.1 for the Mac. I am not going to enter the general word, document, and text processing application wars, but I will say it was the best word processor I have ever used. Word 6 for the Mac threw out 5.1 and was based on the code for Word 6 for Windows. Idiots.

    Of course back then I wasn’t using footnotes, track changes, or tables of contents, so my comparison to NeoOffice isn’t exact, but Word 5.1 for the Mac (mm, blue background!) still has a fond place in my Apple fanboy, OSS-lovin’ heart.

  6. I love the villain. “Somewhere between Arial and Wingdings.”

    I am supposed to be rooting for her, right?

  7. Ooh, I hope the FINALLY replace Arial with Helvetica so we can get proper-looking ‘R’s.

    Or is that hoping for too much? (Guess Arial might be required for backwards-compatibility by now?) Both fonts are referenced in the ad.

  8. 0:37 to 0:50 was filmed at The Taft School. The Producers of this short film are graduates of Taft.

  9. What’s the matter OP, did Microsoft beat you up and steal your lunch money when you were a kid?
    This ad was well-done, funny, and obviously doesn’t take itself as seriously as you did. In my opinion, it fulfills its objective – it maintains the perceived status of the Office suite as the only product you need and improves existing Office users’ rapport both with the product and its creators. What’s not to like…

  10. Itsumishi: Well your mileage obviously differs, but I find the functions I need to use distributed among all the tabs. Of course I only use it when I’m at the public library in my town. The University library has Open Office and the Firefox browser on its public computers (I congratulated them on having a much better than average IT person).

    Anon: Edmonton must be a great place. Most corporate and large nonprofit IT people are like the grandma who automatically buys her college granddaughter the latest version of Windows, Word, etc.: “It figured it must be the best, because I heard it’s the latest thing.” Some of it must be institutional culture. To a bureaucracy like that of the Feds in Snow Crash, that figures if employees want information they must be up to no good, Microsoft’s proprietary lockdown culture must seem like Zion.

  11. Like a car ad – “It’s not a car, it’s a life experience!” Translation: It’s so commonplace it may as well not exist as a topic of conversation anymore.

    This fails to induce happy feelings in me that can be associated with [product]. Seems to me these days that MS’s ads are only notable for their multiple levels of lameness.

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