Every year the Super Bowl draws the highest viewership numbers in America of any television program, with companies pay millions of dollars to get commercials on during the most “prime time” of the year. While Super Bowl ads are historically known for being comical or sexual, over the last few years many companies have shifted towards tugging at heart strings with emotional advertisements, though some may have taken it too far as Nationwide had an advertisement about accidental childhood deaths, for example. Last year Microsoft featured an advertisement with former NFL player Steve Gleason who has ALS using technology to communicate. This year Microsoft continued to show that they view their products as life changing rather than only for productivity.
Their first Super Bowl ad this year featured Estella Pyfrom. Pyfrom filled a bus with technology and drives the bus to underprivileged areas so that children can have access to technology.
Their second ad featured Bralon O’Neill who is a double amputee. The commercial shows the continued development of his prosthetics allowing him to run and play sports.
Microsoft already pays to have the Surface be the official tablet of the NFL. They can be seen on the field and in the studio so the commercials allow Microsoft to highlight a different side of their brand. Both commercials are centered on Microsoft’s technology being used rather than what specs they have. Corporate vice president of Microsoft Global Advertising and media said the stories in their commercials “continue to support and lay proof to the philosophy of empowering people to do amazing things. It’s not about what we build, but what people do with it.”Further reading: Commercials, Microsoft