In case you were wondering – the ’90’s are back. If you don’t believe me and need concrete evidence then think Rihanna in a Chicago Bulls jersey, the resurgence of the Jordan sneaker, the amount of backwards caps you’ve seen in the last month and the fact that Sly Stallone and Schwarzenegger have competing action flicks out (again). Microsoft takes us further down this beaten path with a new ad aimed at the ‘Child of the ’90’s.’
The new ad for Internet Explorer serves to remind us just how far the internet (and Microsoft) has come since we collected neon-haired trolls and ‘looked after’ Tamagotchi’s rather than Myspace pages and Twitter handles. Bum bags, floppy disks, Walkman’s, water guns, pump-up basketball sneakers and a very sad-looking home PC in HP grey are all familiar sights and if you lived through the days of Pokémon championships and Hungry Hippo matches, you may feel a little warm and fuzzy. The ad is aimed at consumers born between 1984 and 1988, but to be honest, anyone who remembers any of the above will get nostalgic at the sight of a ‘slap-on’ wristband.
From a business perspective, it’s a good move on the surface (no pun intended) of it – reminding us about IE’s legacy and that it was probably the first browser many people used before Mozilla’s Firefox and Google’s Chrome became more popular. On the downside, Microsoft is struggling to remain relevant and has pulled out all the stops, basically going through a full makeover and this ad kind of makes the point that they are a bit of a ‘has been’ to the new generation. That said, the ad has gone viral with over 9 million views on YouTube and counting, so it may have been just what they needed.