Microsoft’s slick new commercial shows us an Internet Explorer we haven’t seen yet. The flashy, blink-and-you-miss-it commercial shows us a whirlwind of sleek images of Internet Explorer 9. All this is backed by a forward-thinking song by Alex Clare that combines soulful vocals with the bass-heavy throb of dubstep, one of the newest and most popular styles of electronic music.
Regardless of your feelings towards Microsoft, one has to admit this commercial is exciting. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser has gotten a bad rap over the years. The browser ruled the Internet ten years ago, with 95 percent of the Internet’s patrons using IE5 and IE6. Today, the browser is used by only 34 percent of the web’s population. Can Microsoft climb back to the top rung with IE9?
The Music of Alex Clare
One of the elements that make this commercial so compelling is the music. The track, “Too Close” by Alex Clare features heartfelt melodic lyrics backed up by punchy rhythms and a pulsing bass line. Alex Clare is only a few years into his professional career but has already made quite an impact with his self-written, dynamic songs. “Too Close” conveys a futuristic yet soulful feeling to the commercial.
Microsoft is definitely trying to make it clear that they’re hip to the latest trends. “Too Close” is one of the first dubstep-influenced tracks to be featured in a national commercial. What is dubstep? Dubstep is a form of electronic music that started in London and has quickly become one of the most popular styles of electronic music. The pulsing, shaky bass you hear in “Too Close” is iconic of a dubstep track.
It seems strange that a commercial can make an artist famous. Just take a look at French group Télépopmusik. Their smoky, chill-out electronic track “Just Breathe” was catapulted to stardom by its use in a 2003 Mitsubishi Outlander commercial. Alex Clare could very well be the next artist to benefit from the exposure which commercials give artists.
Director Keith Rivers has already blown up from his involvement with Microsoft. The established director can now only be reached via his agency. Coming from a background with Microsoft’s X-Box Live Marketplace, Keith obviously has some good contacts. The simple but effective commercial says a lot about what a talented director can bring to a project.
Does Internet Explorer 9 Measure Up?
The commercial makes IE9 look like the best thing ever. The Microsoft home page even calls it “The Best Browser for Windows.” For a browser that has fallen off the radar for many users, IE9 will have to do a lot to measure up to the hype.
Here’s the full video, I love this track: