Visual Studio: Before / After

Microsoft have a great ad for Visual Studio inside the front cover of Dr. Dobbs journal. Check out these pictures:

Before After
(click for larger version)
Before After

The first guy has a huge ugly laptop, a meaningless award on his desk. He clearly has no manners; in spite of the two women standing right next to him he’s wearing headphones and brandishing a tacky looking PDA / MP3 player / phone / whatever. His body language screams “I’m far too important to talk to mere girls”. He’s got an unhealthy BMW fetish going on too. Not only has he left his Beemer keyfob ostentatiously draped on his desk, he also has both a model of the car (his true love I fancy) and a picture of him standing next to the real thing. Just in case we miss the fact that he OWNS A BMW.

Anyway, then he discovers Visual Studio and experiences quite a transformation. He realises the award was just a crude attempt by his employer to make him work harder without paying him more. In its place is a paperclip parody of the award. Hah! His laptop is smaller and more tasteful. He now takes his headphones off in the presence of others. His keys are just a bunch of keys. He’s ditched the vacuous status car and replaced it with a mountain bike. Amazing. I almost like him now.

Microsoft must be furious though: the ad has been printed with the panels reversed so that it looks as if using Visual Studio turns you into a boorish, smug, self obsessed cock. Too bad.

32 Responses to “Visual Studio: Before / After”

  1. Phil Says:

    Yeah, but in the way around you like him the women are more interested in what they are reading. Obviously the BMW sells him well to the Brunette

  2. Andy Armstrong Says:

    Yeah but she obviously has self esteem issues. Why else would she be looking wistfully at such a dork?

  3. Thomas Aylott Says:

    Oh man!
    That was just too funny
    (I’d have just said “LOL” but I’m about a decade too old for such language)

  4. Andy Says:


    (I’m too old too)

  5. Mike Says:

    HA! Sarcasm!

  6. JOhn Thomas Says:

    Dude that is totally sick!


  7. jonc Says:

    the images are supposed to be switched around…

  8. jonc Says:

    woops, didn’t read the last line >_

  9. flingcom Says:

    Dam speedreading (read: lazyreading) I missed the last line too

  10. Craig Turner Says:

    I didn’t interpret it that way - what I read was that coding used to be a black art the was rewarded, and now with Visual Studio everyone has powerful tools so he’s lo longer special.


  11. leftman Says:

    You missed the most important thing you dope, the vacation policy has turned into the overtime policy which makes him even more of a twat!

  12. Chad Says:

    Geez, can you be any more passive aggressive? This is really sad. You apparently believe the standard “nice guy” belief that women *should* like “nice guys” and hate jerks. The answer is somewhere in the middle. By evolutionary means alone women should like confident men with status, not weeny little suck-ups. A man who doesn’t need the attention of women is exactly who gets it. Needy men, and ones who are at the beck and call of anyone and everyone sees himself as subservient and has very low status.

    If your biggest goal in life is to be considered “nice”, then more power to you, and good luck with that. Those of us who put value on our time and attention and don’t bend over for everyone who wants something from us, will in the end succeed (in the evolutionary sense). That doesn’t mean being a jerk, though jerks can often “succeed” more than “nice guys”. It means being a “nice person” but one who sometimes puts their own value above always helping others and so isn’t always available for everybody else’s needs, and knows when not to be nice.

    Here’s a hint. The winner of the Iterative Prisoner’s Dilemma is almost always “tit-for-tat” with occasional forgiveness, not always being nice. The exception is the Southamption strategy in which some leader strategy (the “jerk”) collaborates with other competitors who sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the leader. Thus a jerk can “win” by taking advantage of people willing to be too nice to him. Don’t be the jerk, and don’t be the “nice guy” being taken advantage of. Be the tit-for-tat cooperative guy who stands up for himself and puts value on himself. Step one: stop being passive-aggressive.

  13. SmH Says:

    Chad: tl;dr.

    Andy: This gave me a good chuckle :)

  14. Cristian Says:

    Excellent comment Phil!

  15. zhokuai Says:

    I think it’s really sad how when you look at this ad, its saying “use VS and women will have sex with you.”

  16. Basiphobe Says:

    This isn’t a screw up — the ads are supposed to be the other way around. Look at the laptops again. The one on the left has a DVI input. The one on the right, a parallel port. The ad is saying that VS will transform you from a dork with a mountain bike to a dork with a BMW.

  17. Visual Studio.Net Ad Says:

    [...] I stumbled across a pretty VS.Net ad parody while surfing reddit.  The guy switched the before and after photos and provides an amusing commentary on what happened.  Click Here to see the post. [...]

  18. Mr Flibberly Says:

    Reading the comments here it’s pretty obvious who uses Visual Studio :-)

  19. your future subordinate Says:

    Everyone knows that the brunette is the boss’ love interest so he’s doing well to leave that cock tease alone.

    (off topic: thankfully firefox can pick up on my terrible English! I can’t imagine the sorts of trouble I’d find myself in if I found myself in a situation where the correct spelling of cocktease was required but I was unable to remember whether to stick a space in there or not in order to appease the gods of the red squiggly/dotted underline…)

  20. Andy Says:

    This isn’t a screw up — the ads are supposed to be the other way around. Look at the laptops again. The one on the left has a DVI input. The one on the right, a parallel port. The ad is saying that VS will transform you from a dork with a mountain bike to a dork with a BMW.


  21. MC Says:

    Zhokuai,I think you put too much blame on the ad. Let’s face it:
    -women love money
    -women love power
    -women love fancy (read: expensive) cars
    so they are a lot more likely to “have sex” with a man who has tthese things.

    The ad merely tries to suggest that by using VS, you will have all three. Which unfortunatelly isn’t true :-)

  22. MoronTracer Says:

    You moron…..”a huge ugly laptop” is Dell XPS - a top of the line product !! Get a life!

  23. Kike Says:

    Don’t miss the admiration glance on the girl’s face in the “after” version. I think the selling point here is you can use VS to mutate from a geeky nobody to a BMW-branded alpha male. Which anyway is stupid, of course, a _real_ alpha male has a real office, not a shitty cubicle :-) .

  24. Name required Says:

    So the advertising slogan is “VS gets you two chicks at one time, man”?

  25. Andy Says:

    You moron…..”a huge ugly laptop” is Dell XPS - a top of the line product !! Get a life!

    Wow - how stupid do I feel for describing a top of the line Dell as ugly?

    Here’s a clue: “ugly” and “top of the line” are orthogonal.

  26. Tim Says:

    the guy has two cute girls in his cube both before and after. for any self respecting nerd, thats a win no matter how you slice it. The after nerd is more interested in his mp3’s though, and judging by how confused the girls are looking at the change orders, there is more opportunity for the eco-friendly mountain bike geek… Is it just me, or did the marketing folks all go out to lunch and let the intern finish this ad? Before should have been some stodgy business manager yelling at him, and after should have had the girls giving the guy a backrub at the very least.

    IMHO, the after should have the guy using a macbook pro because the dell is like a friggin tank on his desk, and all the visual studio crashes would have given him too many tension headaches to continue to develop on that platform…

  27. Bob Says:

    Awesome post!

  28. mojave Says:

    LOL. Wonderful bit of deconstructionism! Derrida would be proud.

  29. a Says:

    There’s no way they would have considered not being on the front of ‘’ magazine to be the better outcome. I also like the BMW-love criticism while at the same time judging someone on the aesthetics of their laptop.

  30. visual women Says:

    [...] [...]

  31. Visual Studio: Before / After | Pharmacy Blog - Purchase Cheap Viagra, Levitra, Cialis, Propecia Online Says:

    [...] read more | digg story [...]

  32. What It Takes To Succeed In Business Audio Mp3. | Says:

    [...] Pontydysgu - Bridge to Learning ? My Learning JourneyGhajini movie review, Aamir Khan Ghajini hindi movie review, | Telugu News, Telugu Cinema, telugu movies, andhra news, andhra pradesh news, tollywood, india news, Telugu portal, andhra politics, telugu politics, Bollywood, hyderabad, Telugu films, Chiran6 Blogging Books That Might Help You Succeed In Blogging ? SELaplanaDay Trading Training - What Makes The Pros So Good? | New Stuff OnlineThe Marketer’s Podcast ? Interview with Heidi Miller host of Diary of a Shameless Self-Promoter Enlightened Self-Interest ? Blog Archive ? And the winners are…. News? Blog Archive ? Address From SRC Vice President Dante Ross - Voting & Judging Interview with Garth Snider, President of AdEngine, LLC?|?Ad EngineHexten ? Blog Archive ? Visual Studio: Before / After [...]

Leave a Reply

Copyright Andy Armstrong, 2005. Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).