One of the better ad campaigns of the past year has been Microsoft's "The Browser You Loved To Hate" campaign for Internet Explorer. It was a rare kind of self-deprecatory humor that's not often seen in a tech industry that's focused more on glamourous reviews instead of pointing out its own flaws. Now the ad campaign is back as Microsoft shifts its focus to Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8.
The ad is simply called "Do you know this guy?" and it encapsulates pretty much every person who has ever hated on Internet Explorer. Despite signs that IE was improving, these people would go onto various social media networks to lambast the browser. Well, Microsoft has had enough, and it goes to great lengths to shut down this particular troll every step of the way.
Obviously, the ad is funny. Microsoft has been on a roll lately with its advertisements, but it remains to be seen if they're effective. Sure, people like Super Bowl ads, but do they actually buy the products in question? Are people really going to start using Internet Explorer after getting a chuckle out of this ad?
The point remains, however, that Internet Explorer is getting better all the time. It may be the only browser available on Windows RT, but at least it's a decent enough browser to use now. The same couldn't be said of Internet Explorer 6, 7 or 8. That being said, I don't think Internet Explorer usage is going to skyrocket anytime soon. Microsoft still has a lot of work ahead of itself to shake off the stigma that its browser has earned over the years. These admittedly funny ads are a good first step.