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