Microsoft’s Surface Laptop video features a slowed-down cover of the Grease soundtrack

Microsoft just announced the Surface Laptop, and, as is tradition in the tech industry, the announcement was accompanied by a fancy “making of” video unveiling the device by showcasing the various (stylized) parts of the manufacturing process. The video is pretty cool, but I’m here to talk about the soundtrack: a bizarrely slowed-down (and slightly creepy) cover of “You’re the One That I Want” from the finale of Grease.

Look, I get what Microsoft was going for here. The company is hoping that, just like Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson, you will similarly recognize a new Surface Laptop as “the one that you want.” The fact that lines like “the power you’re supplying is electrifying” also can apply to a laptop (I guess?) in addition to the intended subject of young love is probably an added bonus.

But it’s just plain weird to hear the song slowed down to the dramatic, soulful rendition that Microsoft’s commercial features, given the extensive cultural weight attached to the song by, you know, Grease. Even stranger, it’s not the first time a brand has sucked the joy out of the Grease finale for a haunting cover version! Chanel did it, too with a similar version by singer Lo-Fang in 2014 for a N°5 perfume ad.

That said, the move is right in line with a trend in modern movie trailers: taking upbeat pop songs and turning them into moody, slo-mo covers for more weighty drama. It puts Microsoft’s cover in a list that includes, but is certainly not limited to: 50 Shades of Grey’s cover of Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love, 10 Cloverfield Lane and “I Think We’re Alone Now,” Avengers: Age of Ultron with “There Are No Strings On Me,” The Social Network with Radiohead’s “Creep,” and many, many others.

However, I do have to admit: even slowed down and overly moody, it’s still pretty catchy.


MS makes the best commercials these days.

It all started with this… Surface by Microsoft
I still enjoy watching that.

I liked the Surface Pro 4 "Thunderstruck" ad – though they changed the audio on that one now, probably due to copyright or something..

The best one was for the Surface Book..the music theme used (Two Steps From Hell – Rebirth) was just hyping the machine, really perfect for that device.

Really? I actually found this version of the song to be really cool.

Also, FYI there’s much literature and buzz about millennials being more moody than previous generations. Seeing how the world is going, it’s not surprising that’s how they’re growing up to be.

Millenials are old news, my friend. A sizable amount of them hitting their late-20s to mid-30s (though few actually agree on what birth range defines them). It’s all about the "Post-Millenials" now!

Also, yeah, that cover is pretty neat.

I do get a kick out of statements like that. You can literally find examples for every generation(Boomers GenX, GenY, etc). Claiming that it’s so much more of a crazy world than in the 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s… is just ridiculous. We always think we’re in a turbulent time if you haven’t figured it out yet.

taking upbeat pop songs and turning them into moody, slo-mo covers for more weighty drama. It puts Microsoft’s cover in a list that includes, but is certainly not limited to: […] The Social Network with Radiohead’s "Creep," and many, many others.

I mean, yeah that version of Creep was slowed-down, but I really wouldn’t call the original "upbeat" either. If you think Creep is an upbeat song, please don’t invite me to your parties, ahah!

The cover is by Stephanie Tarling (@darlingtarlingg), the same artist who did the Pure Imagination cover for Microsoft’s Surface Studio introduction video. Both are excellent in my opinion and fit the ad perfectly.

Thank you! I can’t believe they didn’t mention the artist anywhere in the article. My wife and I LOVE this cover!

there are a few really great covers of You’re the One that I Want out there. Including this one:

What a magical product for the students with "magical life" who are so fast, oh so fast, they run circles around people like that Surface guy. That magical product will bring closure, because closure is what we all want, with its perfect flow of energy and the souls that MSFT engineers injected into it. Finally, when the so-fast student whom MSFT love, oh loves so much, has finished working, closing the lid will ignite an elegant dance that invites him in again!

Dude, what are you talking about?

I guess you didn’t watch the live event?

I like the "red" one. These can be upgraded to Windows 10 pro right?

Yup. Supposedly free upgrades until December 2017 too

I thought this was well done. And really anything other than the horribly sappy "love the world love a child" type garbage Apple and Subaru push at me deserves to be celebrated.

Reminds me of "In the Air Tonight"

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