Yesterday, Microsoft launched a new wave of commercials aimed at educating consumers of their risks online. The ads, which debuted on FOX last night, can be watched here.
As Brandon LeBlanc writes on the Windows blog,
To prove just how vulnerable your personal information is, Internet Explorer 8 re-recreated notorious internet scams–live, off the web– in the most street-smart city in world: New York. We used hidden cameras to film reactions of real people. In the first spot we asked people to provide very personal information in order to open a new bank account which would give them a cash reward of $500. We learned that, just as it is online, it can be hard to tell the difference between the scammer and the real thing. We filmed a lot of people and nearly all of them were convinced our “bank” was the real deal.
And of course Microsoft is touting its security filters along with the campaign. For example, the ad states that IE8 block 3 million online threats a day via the browser’s SmartScreen feature, which automatically blocks web pages which look suspicious or have been reported as suspicious and also warns you of the risks.
Microsoft is also pushing the privacy options in IE8, with InPrivate Browsing and InPrivate Filtering that aim to protect user privacy by preventing information about the Web sites that you visit from automatically being shared with other sites.
With privacy and security at the forefront of consumers’ minds with the Facebook debacle, the commercials are timely. And Microsoft is using the topic to push users to upgrade to a more modern, secure browser. The ads definitely take on a more serious tone than the past commercials for Microsoft, which have included Jerry Seinfeld (which was quickly scrapped), and been more lighthearted. Maybe the company is finally leaving the comedy to Apple.