Wait, So Will the Zune Make Common My Homie?
It's not immediately clear what's going on in this spot for Microsoft's Zune, featuring Common and Afrika Bambaataa. In it, a girl puts Common's Universal Mind Control on the spin. She gives props for it, then Common and Afrika Bambaataa leap out of a cloud of images and start sparring over it.
At first the whole thing rang like a poorer rendition of HP's "Hands" campaign, which does a good job of connecting the essence of a celebrity to the machine he's using.
But after digging around, I found out the Zune ad is a demonstration for a feature called "mixview," which behaves like Pandora or a more visual iTunes Genius (I think): connecting you to musicians or bands related to what you're listening to. Common's Universal Mind Control, for example, is heavily influenced by Afrika Bambaataa.
Cool. Just wish it all made sense without me having to go Googling. That's why the iPhone ads kick so much ass: they don't just blow you away, they teach you how to use the unit. And damnit, they're simple.
Spot by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which has yet to demonstrate the ability to turn Microsoft's tide. To be fair, the latter's issues aren't really its fault; Microsoft has trouble committing to a position. Zune's been all - over - the - place from day one, scrambling for a semblance of identity while iPod's been clear all along.