Has anybody seen this thing? I'm not sure I've had this visceral a negative reaction to a commercial before in my life. Is this going to be the routine for EVERY Microsoft ad from here until eternity?
The thing that's most egregious, I think, is that when this technique is pulled off "properly", the creepy cover of the song, in this case Come As You Are by Nirvana, is supposed to juxtapose with the footage to create a third meaning that informs about the product. In design school the assignment was called "1+1=3". Here, the audio just doesn't in any way match the context of the footage or the theme of the game.
A potentially successful use of the technique is something the trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane, in which a creepy version of "I think We're Alone Now" plays against footage of a happy family situation that proceeds to get more disturbing as the trailer continues and then finishes with the suggestion that there is a monster lurking outside, which makes the song usage ironic.
MS using the Nirvana cover just feels lazy. "Let's take a popular Generation X song, try to sing it creepy and then show some pictures of the game. Which game are we doing this for anyways, I forget.."
Let's just go back the 90s era of game advertisements with a wild pack of multicultural children running through the sewers with some game we're to assume they just stole from the developers so that they can play it in their abandoned warehouse command center.