What do Halo, Microsoft Teams, Minecraft, and Microsoft Flight Simulator have in common? They’re all more important than your dog, at least according to this year’s holiday ad from Microsoft.
The latest ad shows an adorable dog going from family member to family member trying to get attention. The first person is too busy playing Halo to even look at the dog. The dog then walks over to another member of the family that’s on a Microsoft Teams call. She at least looks at it and pets it (but just once!). The furry family member then trots over to someone playing Minecraft. She looks at the dog but doesn’t even pet it.
In a last-ditch effort to get affection, the dog goes to someone playing Microsoft Flight Simulator. Like many of the other members of the family, the gamer doesn’t give the dog a glance.
The sad dog then longingly looks out the window to see another dog that seems to be in the same predicament. He then lays down and falls asleep on the sofa. In dreamland, the dog and its friend across the street are playing video games. First, they’re in Flight Simulator in what appears to be an homage to Snoopy and the Red Baron. They then jump into Minecraft and then onto a Microsoft Teams meeting with a bunch of other dogs. They then fetch a live grenade for Master Chief (!) and play in some more games. The star of the ad even rolls around on a Windows desktop.
And then, the ad just … ends with the dog asleep dreaming about having fun.
Microsoft’s ad concludes with the line “This holiday, find your joy,” but the ad did anything but for me. I recognize that it’s supposed to be a fun little ad about dogs playing video games and using other Microsoft technology, but it’s actually a sad ad that left me feeling like I need to take a break to hug my dogs.
You might think that the ad is about the dog going to the people and wishing that it could play games and use the technology, but that’s not really what the ad illustrates. The dog is clearly looking at the people, not their tech.
I expected the ad to end with one of the people playing with the dog or at least cuddling it as it fell asleep. So much for that. The dog literally wasn’t even looked at by most of the people in the commercial.
I type this admittedly reactionary piece about two feet from my dog, Charlie. He sits at my feet every day as I work from home. Another bed is next to him for when his big brother Ruben wants to come up, but Ruben can be a loner during the day.
I’m not saying I can always drop everything for my dogs, but if they come up to me asking for attention, I at least pet them, or cuddle them, or do something. I don’t just ignore them entirely. Even if I am too busy with work or something I can’t interrupt, I go and spend time with my dogs later.
Maybe this fictional family does that after the ad finishes, but Microsoft doesn’t show it. And that’s a real bummer.