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In 2009, even the lamest cultural contributions have some kind of underlying self-awareness. Like, even the people who work for Bill O’Reilly, or the SkyMall catalog, are aware that what they work on sucks. But a job’s a job and they probably find a way to have fun with it (especially at the SkyMall catalog.) So that’s why this REAL commercial for Microsoft’s new Songsmith software (you sing at it and it creates horrible musak to accompany you) is completely insane. Not only is it apparently earnest and not a parody, self- or otherwise, it seems like it comes from a bizarro parallel universe where irony was never discovered. It’s like Microsoft found some kind of home-schooling Christian commune in the woods and hired them to make their commercial.

RIGHT? As Lisa Simpson would say “Scanning for sarcasm: it’s clean!” And in this case that’s a bad thing. Where did they find these people? (Via youain’tnopicasso.)

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Comments (78)
  1. Your songs have been stale? TURN UP THE JAZZY!

  2. Seriously though, I am so excited about the youtube vids people will create using this software. The next “Why Must I Cry” isn’t going to magically accompany itself, ya know? You have to scream into a windows pc first.

  3. this has to be a joke.

  4. Erin  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +26

    More importantly, you guys, where can I get some glow in the dark towels?

  5. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  6. eve  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 -3

    question: where to buy the glow in the dark towels?

  7. y  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +16

    I love all the little sub-plots this commercial has. Will the dad write an amazing ad jingle for glow-in-the-dark towels? Will that guy over there write an awesome song? No, but they can all pretend that they have and be happy.

  8. Finally, I can make absolutely terrible music at home.

  9. This commercial just made me realize how convenient a glow in the dark towel would be, because sometimes you want to shower in dim or no light, y’know?

    Also, “Microsoft? So, it’s easy to use? … wat.

  10. Mary Mouse  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +10

    I made it as far as the coffee shop guy who looks like M Night Shyamalan, and then I had to give up. TOO PAINFUL.

  11. This software might be able to help you in making your own theme music.

  12. Heehee, he used to struggle in the dark closet…

  13. I think this is the closest anyone will ever get to being able to have a soundtrack to their life.

    Too bad it’s going to sound awful.

  14. And no one has pointed out that he was using a macbook?

  15. Anyone can play guitar and they won’t be a nothing anymore.

  16. Shannon  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +2

    I feel like this is something I would have watched in between “Small Wonder” and Garfield cartoons on Saturday morning, circa 1987.

  17. Microsoft is soooo your aunt in the ‘Christmas Story’ universe. She gets you a pink bunny suit onesie and thinks you love it.

  18. sebboh  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +2

    he was definitely using a macbook. and the last bit about the rhyming gives me hope that they knew on SOME level just how ridiculous this is

  19. The ad guy strikes me as a kind of lobotomized James Kotecki. And I can’t WAIT for the Chocolate Rain guy to start playing with Songsmith! (Wait…maybe he was….)

  20. Adam Bruneau  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +1

    This is amazing. I think you under-estimate Microsoft’s sense of irony!

  21. Honey, what did they think of your song?
    Well, they hated it because instead of doing my job, I fucked around on a poor man’s garage band for an hour in a half with some earringed Indian guy I met at the coffee shop. Apparently, that wasn’t what they were looking for! But at least we can rhyme! Thanks Songsmith!

  22. zap  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 -1

    wait a minute, that towel dude is old enough to have a daughter that old?

    • Macca  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +4

      Of course. He obviously got the first girl that would ever sleep with him pregnant, and then had to take a job writing craptastic ad jingles to support the family.

  23. John  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +16

    This must be how the Jonas Brothers must write their songs…

  24. Sam  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +9

    My feelings can only be expressed as the man in the frame at 3:15 did.

    • I thought the commercial was winding down, so I tried to take a drink of water just before that very moment, and I ended up spilling it all over myself. Totally worth it.

  25. What Microsoft really needs is a “talent simulator” and then maybe this commercial would be watchable.

  26. I accidently tried to stab myself in face watching that commercial

  27. Well, it was the best I ever had..

  28. Janet  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +1

    I like the whimsy of the cartoon dragons!!!!!!!!!!!! Dragon Tales FTW

    • Janet  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 +3

      Oh. I just put my glasses on. Those are music notes with cowboy hats.
      I think dragons would be better though; Songsmith people are you reading this?!?!?!?!

  29. terry's chocolate orange  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 0

    so help me find a way to move my groove on.

  30. Goddammit! There might as well be a “Fake Rap” song-style button (make sure to calibrate the “Style Mood” setting to “Light”).

  31. Mark  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 -4

    There’s no way this ad is serious, they’re taking you for a ride stereogum and reaping the sweet free press benefits

  32. Mark  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 -2

    There’s no way this ad is serious, they’re taking you for a ride stereogum and reaping the sweet free press benefits

  33. shaun  |   Posted on Jan 12th, 2009 0

    I made it all the way through. Where is my money man. I need it so i can go buy more Prozac. That song is terrible!

  34. Screw that. Im getting the Apple Wheel!

  35. phil banks  |   Posted on Jan 13th, 2009 -13

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  36. Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  37. Steve  |   Posted on Jan 13th, 2009 +3

    Microsoft does to Song Writing what it has already done to Operating Systems.

  38. star  |   Posted on Jan 13th, 2009 +2

    Yeah, they are totally normal! They’re not insane anger-repressed individuals that will go on a killing spree the second someone tells them their ‘songs’ are a piece of shit.

  39. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d77eycBpuBY

    And nothing can prepare you for the re-recorded parody of microsoft songsmith. LOL!!!

  40. There are about 800 things wrong with this. The most perverse being that it’s more entertaining than those Jerry Seinfeld/Bill Gates commercials.

  41. Sam  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 +13

    Well, this guarantees that Kanye West will be releasing an album this year.

  42. You bozos don’t know SQUAT about the 18 to 24 demographic, man….

  43. boba fett  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 +2

    does anyone else notice the asian boss’s accent? i cant decide if that was intentional or real

  44. Microsoft uses the term “research” loosely.

  45. “Dad”? Sure, Lisa, sure that’s your dad.

  46. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Songsmith

    “The user can choose different styles of music genres either Pop, R&B, Hiphop, Rock, Jazz, Reggae, or the like and change the tempo of the song. Songsmith has a feature to change the properties of the song which is either to make it joyful, sad, jazzy, and so on.”

  47. Andrew  |   Posted on Jan 14th, 2009 +1

    Using my awesome detective skills (wikipedia), I’ve found this.

    http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/um/redmond/projects/songsmith/video_EveryoneHasASongInside.html

    “We?re going for over-the-top comic irony. We don’t guarantee that Songsmith will actually have your entire home singing in rhyme.”

  48. Ah – “over-the-top comic irony.” Thank you. That helps clear things up.

    Now, can someone suggest why this fails completely as comic irony?

  49. tripleman  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 0

    I think it’s actually a powerbook. It seems ridiculous to fact-check this turd, But you can’t even run Vista or XP on a powerbook. So they used that as a prop…. why?

    Whatevs, I’ve got to go wipe up the blood that’s trickling out of my ears.

  50. jbiz  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 +9

    Where can I buy a Microsoft glow-in-the-dark towel? That’s what this was a commercial for, right? Because seriously, I need one. I like to be able to see my penis when I masturbate, but I ALSO like the sensory deprivation of masturbating in the dark.

    The geniuses at Microsoft have done it again.

  51. Robert Lin  |   Posted on Jan 15th, 2009 0

    This makes Windows 7 totally worth it if they can get it finished in time!!!

  52. OK, I was able to watch this “thing” one time…I have come to the conclusion that, in fact, Microsoft, as a company, has completely, utterly and totally lost their collective minds. We can only hope when the Massive Volcano, Rogue Comet and Mile High Tsunami all occur at the same time, that HQ in Redmond, Washington is the first to go, so in the last 3 seconds of our life we are happy.
    Thank You.

  53. I’d feel strange calling my mom “honey.”

    • TD  |   Posted on Jan 17th, 2009 +1

      I don’t understand why everyone thinks this guy looks so young. He looks to me to be in his mid-30′s, old enough to have a daughter who appears to be about 12 and a wife who appears to also be in her mid-30′s.

  54. SONGSMITH WILL SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE

  55. Greg  |   Posted on Jan 16th, 2009 +3

    “Microsoft, huh? So it’s pretty easy to use?” COME ON, THAT WAS OBVIOUSLY IRONIC!

  56. was this pitched to microsoft execs in shitty tune form as well?

  57. happy effigy  |   Posted on Jan 18th, 2009 0

    i wish i could quit laughing…. i really do

  58. andrewkt  |   Posted on Jan 18th, 2009 0

    This is like the Buffy musical episode, but terrible.

  59. moonvest  |   Posted on Jan 19th, 2009 +2

    To be fair, the main character in this commercial is an ad exec who can’t figure out how he’s going to sell such an unbelievably shitty product, so there’s at least 0.01% irony going on here.

  60. singing this way I could be fired, not promoted!

  61. Steve Pankow  |   Posted on Mar 29th, 2009 -2

    I love FOX News. It’s great to finally have an alternative to the socialist propaganda being peddled by the likes of MsDNC and the other left-wing radicals.

  62. Ha! When corporate culture attacks.

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