Microsoft is making a comeback at the Super Bowl with an advertisement for its AI chatbot. This move shows the company’s commitment to move away from being seen as just a software maker and to reposition its products around the potential of artificial intelligence.
The one-minute ad, which was posted on YouTube on Thursday, shows people using their smartphones to use Copilot, the AI assistant that Microsoft launched last year. The app is demonstrated helping people automate various tasks, from generating pieces of computer code to making digital art.
Microsoft’s Super Bowl ad, its first in four years, underscores the company’s drive to transform itself into a company focused on AI. The tech giant has invested billions in developing its AI capabilities, including a $1 billion investment in OpenAI in 2019, and has incorporated the technology into core products like Microsoft Word, Excel, and Azure.
Now, Microsoft wants individuals and businesses looking for a boost from AI-powered programs to choose its services over competitors like Google, which announced an upgrade to its own AI program on Thursday.
According to Wedbush Securities Analyst Dan Ives, a lot is at stake for global tech companies in the race to dominate AI, with predictions that the market could grow to $1.3 trillion by 2032. “Microsoft is not the same company your grandfather knew, and the Super Bowl is a unique opportunity to further change perceptions,” he said.
Advertisers are spending about $7 million for 30 seconds of airtime in this year’s game, which is expected to draw an audience of over 100 million viewers.
Microsoft wants viewers to know that its Copilot app is getting an update “in line with the launch of our Super Bowl ad,” including a “more streamlined, sleek look” and suggested prompts to help users utilize its AI features, according to a blog post this week by Microsoft’s Chief Marketing Officer for Consumers, Yusuf Mehdi.
So far, Microsoft’s strategy is yielding results. Its revenue from cloud-based services jumped 24% to $33.7 billion in its latest quarter, aided by the integration of AI into its Azure cloud computing service. And investors are taking notice—the company’s market value of $3.1 trillion now places it ahead of Apple as the world’s most valuable company.
The Super Bowl has become the most-watched primetime broadcast in recent years, as audiences have become more divided due to the rise of streaming platforms and social media. In 2023, the event drew an audience of about 115 million viewers, twice as many as the second most-watched TV event that year, according to Variety’s primetime ranking.
Ives believes that this unparalleled exposure could help Microsoft maintain its lead over several major tech companies in the increasingly fierce competition to dominate the AI market.
“It was a game-changing move when Microsoft took the lead in AI. Now others are trying to catch up,” Ives said. He likened Microsoft to a Ferrari speeding at 100 miles per hour in the fast lane, while other competitors are like a minivan going 30 miles per hour.
Image Credit: Microsoft