Comparing “Soar” and “Wow”

Six years ago, Windows XP was launched with a television advertisement called “Soar”. Six years later, Windows Vista is launched with a television advertisement called “Wow”. How has a television advertisement for an operating system changed?

  • 1:00min runtime
  • Story-driven – continuous journey
  • Fantasy
  • Very audible background music
  • Upbeat, lots of action, movement
  • 8 scenes with the operating system in action
  • No speech
  • $200 million advertising budget

  • 1:00min runtime
  • Theme driven – each scene is separate
  • Real experience
  • Ambient background music
  • Emotional, inspirational, slow movements
  • No scene of the operating system in action
  • Speech & voiceover
  • $500 million advertising budget

The Windows XP “Soar” advertisement shows 8 different scenarios with practical examples of how it benefits the user. On the other hand, if you don’t count the artistic interpretation of Flip3D, then the Windows Vista “Wow” advertisement does not show Windows Vista one bit. Not one feature, not one scenario, not even what it is.

Both ads are very good, but interesting to see how times have changed.

20 insightful thoughts

  1. “Wow” sucks so much. It doesn’t even show the product and Flip3D hardly wows you. People who aren’t in the loop are going to have little clue what the ad is about. First “Join the Social” and then “The Wow Starts Now”, MS’ marketing department should be shot.

  2. Personally, i think the XP ad in far better at getting the “product” across…but, the Vista, seems to be more of a “rememberable” one…

    So, two good ads. 😉

  3. i really like the part when lebron james faces that kid in basketball in the vista ad
    i mean i had no idea that micosoft would use an athlete in their ad

  4. I don’t like the Vista ad. It doesn’t show not one thing about Vista- Flip3d is overrated, to me. There’s more to Vista than a pretty interface, but Microsoft isn’t helping their own cause when people are saying that Vista is just a glossed over XP. So, according to this commercial, Microsoft is just saying what all the Vista bashers have been saying all along.

    That’s my take on it.

  5. Windows XP ad is much better than Windows Vista one. I think Ads are created to show off the product not the reaction of the consumer on it!

    We must see Windows Vista in action as in XP Ad, then we will say “Wow”.

    Last thing, Isn’t it the time for Microsoft to stop showing Flip3D in every single event or Ad and start using just ANY other feature in Vista because I just hate this unlogic repeation for the feature. you find it everywhere, from PDC 2004 to the packaging to the website to the ADs, just enough!

  6. I like the “Wow” ad. But there was another version of that video shown at the Vista launch event with the much better “Microsoft voice” (as in the “Your potential. Our passion” compaign)

  7. I loved the old ads for Windows XP. I think they showed people what XP could do and made people feel like they could have fun on their PC again. The new vista ads are okay, but the actors “wows” feel tired and bland, the music doesn’t get you interested, and they don’t really show what Vista offers compared to XP. Hopefully they will come up with more compelling advertisements soon.

  8. You all say that the XP ad is better because it shows you the product. But isn’t an ad just to attract people to a product? With this ad, people are “forced” to get more info about the product. That’s just what they (Microsoft) want. The Vista ad is more about the experience (lol…Microsoft used that word for their XP campain :-P)

  9. i agree with iBenshi
    gosh i wish i had vista though
    im waiting till summer before i go to college
    just gonna wait till 2 gb ram will be somewhat as well as other hardware stuff
    i went to Staples today and tried out the Vista Speech Recognition and i even amazed some sales person with it

  10. that vista wow add is a pile of shit.. I don’t know how many people it took to come up with that ‘wow’ such a crap advertisment, but they did do a good job of getting so much money for it.

    the xp one its 10x better, oh well.. silly microsoft… hell they could have used a better more upbeat tune in the background vista ad, and it would have been better..

  11. The XP ad is fine, but I really like the Vista ad much more. The Vista ad might not show off Vista but that isn’t the point. With all advertisement it is about getting noticed in the sea of everything else. The Vista commercial is unique because it invokes an inspirational “wow” feeling when people watch it. It’s all subjective of course but I this type of commercial is very rare.

  12. Predicton: Come SP1, Microsoft will spend much more of it’s huge advertising budget. This is the time when adoption will start to heavily increase, as companies like Intel move over to Vista.

  13. I like the Vista ‘wow’ ad. I completely agree with iBenshi. Ads these days rarely shows off the product itself, but attempts to attract the audience instead. I’ve seen McDonalds ads that doesn’t have close-up shots of its burgers – it’s all about the experience these days.

  14. I thought that was the “Microsoft voice” in that ad. He sounded like that in the others. Maybe it’s different where you live, that’s the UK advert for Vista.

  15. >I wonder if they’ll ever get on Australian television…

    We’ve had an Australian version of the Vista ad for ages.

  16. Both ads are created in very professional fashion.
    I prefer Vista ad because XP ad looks aged to me, and Vista ad is more modern, closer to the people…
    (on the other hand, Vista is still cat in the bag, although I use it from beta 2)

  17. I like both comercials, but will agree that soar does a much better job at doing what a commercial should. Then again, five years ago, commercials were much different than what they are now. Now, it’s mostly about getting the attention of the consumer, whether that means a funny joke or an interesting scene that has nothing to do with the product. Saddly most people will fall for this sort of advertising. Think of the Apple ads, do they show the OS at all? Not really, they are just funny. Or what about the geiko commercials, they just show the awesome gekko or something funny and don’t really show a geiko agent really interfacing with customers. These are a couple that I can think of at the moment. Going by this standard, the Wow commercial is actually pretty good, as it is inspiring and gets your attention as everyone at one point had a wow moment.

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