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New Microsoft ads – Lauren? Who the **** is Lauren!?

Have you seen Microsoft’s latest commercial? Lauren wants a new 17-inch laptop for under one thousand dollars and, if she finds one, the company will buy it for her. For all those made redundant by Microsoft in the past few weeks, it must be lovely to watch their former employer doling out the equivalent of a month’s pay to a random, oddly hyperactive female who is, quite frankly, an idiot.

According to a number of sources online, Lauren’s an actress. Perhaps, as some suggest, duped by Microsoft’s ad agency into believing she was involved in ‘market research’. Careful what you sign, Lauren. That’s the first rule of showbusiness!

There’s no doubt that Microsoft has picked a great time to exploit the price difference between Macs and PCs but, after a little delving into the facts of the advert, all isn’t as black and white as the Redmond company would have you believe.

For a start, the HP computer that ‘will work for laptop Lauren’ opts for isn’t quite the bargain 17-inch powerhouse it’s made out to be. The HP Pavillion laptop bought for $699 at Best Buy offers a sluggish AMD mobile processor and, allegedly, pretty damn awful viewing angles for a screen that size. It’s also two inches thick and weighs 80lbs or more. Who from HP (the only manufacturer bar Apple mentioned in the ad) is sleeping with someone in Microsoft’s marketing team?

Lauren’s trip to the Mac Store has also come under scrutiny. If you watch the advert closely, a man carrying a tripod can be seen walking past the store when the red-haired fraudster enters and is barely three feet further on his journey by the time she comes out. That’s a time of around three seconds to find out that there are no 17-inch Mac laptops available for under $1,000. Suspect.

As well as the HP Pavillion, Lauren comes out with some serious crap herself. Picking up a netbook on display she exclaims “This is like a phone”. What does that even mean? How many phones look like a 10-inch portable computer? What phone is she using?! Throughout the ad she points to meaningless reasons for making a purchase (“the look of that one is drawing me”) and even comes out with sentences that make no sense whatsoever like “This one has all of my qualifications”. All of my qualifications? If the laptop has a two-bit diploma from some unknown ham acting worskhop maybe. We think she was looking for the word “specifications”.

Then there’s the classic line which will no doubt be floating around the web for weeks to come: “I’m not cool enough to be a Mac person” she sighs after her failed visit to the Apple Store.

As much as the ad attempts to deride the Mac, it seems to be putting the platform on a higher plane. Lauren heads to the Apple Store first which would lead one to believe that a Mac was her first choice and only turns down a sub-$1k MacBook because of the screen size. She bemoans her uncoolness and shows a first-rate lack of computer knowledge at the same time. Sure, she’s your average Joe looking for a good deal, but Microsoft seems to be saying: “If you can afford it, buy the best. If not, get a PC”.