Microsoft Ad Pokes Fun at IE, Urges Users to Give IE9 a Chance

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In a new ad campaign, Microsoft is showing acceptance for Internet Explorer's dark past, calling it “the browser you loved to hate.”

The company has set up a website with video ads and silly graphics, all of which essentially admit that Internet Explorer used to stink. “Some people are trying the new Internet Explorer and actually liking it,” the site's description says. “Not that they would say it out loud.”

The most endearing of the video ads shows a young man meeting with a psychologist about his tendency to uninstall Internet Explorer on other people's computers. “The only thing Internet Explorer is good for at all … is downloading other browsers,” he exclaims.

Graphics on the site visualize other things that were once popular, then suffered a steep drop in popularity before becoming cool again. (Examples: “Tablet Worship,” “Bird-Based Communication” and Pabst Blue Ribbon.)

On a second page, the site admits that “Your current browser is probably great … So keep using it.” But it also encourages people to use Internet Explorer 9 to pin sites such as Facebook and Pandora to the Windows taskbar. “And when you do, you might find some stuff you like in Internet Explorer,” the site says.

Will the campaign get me to switch? Probably not, even though IE9 is markedly better than its predecessors. (PCWorld named it one of the 100 best products of 2011.) I have my reasons for sticking with Google Chrome. Specifically, I've grown accustomed to the browser's Web apps, pinned tabs and bookmarks bar.

But as far as ad campaigns go, Microsoft's latest for Internet Explorer is charming and clever. It grabbed my attention, without even relying on projectile vomit.

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