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This is Microsoft’s most humiliating Surface product placement failure yet

Updated Dec 19th, 2018 8:53PM EST
Surface Pro 3 Vs. iPad Air

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When you consider how often we see Microsoft Surfaces on our televisions versus how many are actually sold, you really have to question whether Microsoft’s big spending on such product placement is worthwhile. This is especially true when such product placement backfires in hilarious ways, such as when NFL announcers refer to the Surface tablets coaches are using on the sidelines as “iPads.” However, it turns out it can get even worse than that because GeekWire has spotted a new Surface product placement failure that might be Microsoft’s most embarrassing one yet.

RELATED: Microsoft’s Surface marketing has been bafflingly bad

During the coverage of last night’s midterm elections, CNN pundits all had Surface tablets lined up on the table that were supposedly being used to keep track of all the important races. However, GeekWire noticed that many of these pundits were secretly swiping away at iPads even as the shiny Surface tablets were right in front of them to use, attachable keyboards and all.

This shows the danger with product placement as a marketing strategy in general: If you’re paying someone to use products they’re not enthusiastic about using, then you aren’t showing off the products’ best capabilities. While Microsoft’s other Surface product placement efforts haven’t been quite as disastrous as this one, we can’t say they’ve been much more successful either.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.