The holidays are widely heralded as the season of peace on Earth and goodwill toward mankind.
Regrettably, there are Scrooges among us, but the good news is that they are generally more the exception than the rule during the festive season, as the spirit of giving tends to win out more than not. “Giving Tuesday” now has 30,000 partners in 68 countries and is bringing in more consumer dollars each year. Consumers like the holiday, particularly in its capacity to act as the cure to the post-holiday spending hangover.
But when one thinks of the yuletide burst of generosity, peace, love and cheer, one generally doesn’t think of it extending to corporations. Individually, we might put aside our differences long enough to think long and hard about which socks are the best way to say “all is forgiven,” but no one really imagines a world where The Burger King will be sending Ronald McDonald a Christmas card this year.
But then, the holiday spirit does tend to bring strange things out. In strange ways.
For those who can’t watch the video, that is a collection of (the most photogenic) Microsoft retail employees, bedecked in multi-colored ski caps, departing from the new 5th Avenue store and walking a few blocks to their neighbors on 5th at Apple’s retail store. Joined by the Harlem’s children’s choir, they sang a candlelit rendition of “Let There Be Peace On Earth” to their red-shirted Apple retail counterparts.
At the end everyone hugged.
Bet you didn’t think Microsoft could make a Christmas commercial that could make you get a little choked up, did you?
It is also a big departure from Microsoft’s holiday ads from years past, which were a bit more confrontational in nature. Last year’s features a (unfavorable) comparison between the Surface Pro and the MacBook Air.
But this year, it seems, Microsoft doesn’t want to throw rocks — just be friends. And while some have viewed the move skeptically— Forbes ruled it “a cry for help” — most reviews were feeling the love for Microsoft’s kinder, gentler approach for Christmas.