Google Glass bottled the genie, while Microsoft flopped

A lot of research has gone into the idea of snap judgments. Social science pop writer Malcolm Gladwell wrote a best-selling book on the idea called Blink, on how the brain can make decisions in fractions of seconds. The visual arts invite this instinctive and I think deeply wise response. Why do we like one photograph or artists and ignore others’ work? What is that special stuff that makes for brilliance and artistry? I do not fully know, except that for me the response is emotional and intuitive when I see a picture or a video I like.

This thought process raced through my mind as I saw the new Google Glass YouTube ad stream in front of me, announcing itself like a thunder-clap with its Dick Dale-inspired guitar riffs. Google managed to bottle what its brand means to the public: innovation, can’t-live-without-it, market leader.

The pale shadow of a comparison in terms of YouTube ads was Microsoft Corp.’s product launch for its poorly received tablet called the Surface Pro. Everything reeked of clumsiness and corporate heaviness, decision by committee, inability to know the audience and know where the geek world had gravitated five years earlier. Dancing dude in horned-rimmed glasses and a tie and coat? Did anyone have the guts to squash this before the campaign?

Those were my gut reactions. Wondering what other people think. Does our mind’s eye immediately recognize the media that pulls at that special place between our brains, hearts, and midsections? Did you respond the same way I did? Or, does the proliferation of Google Glass parodies online already indicate that my gut was easily duped by the first five viewings.


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