Caleb Slain, 22, impressed Microsoft executives with a promotional video for the new Windows 8 tablet, Surface, despite the fact that he has no affiliation with a major advertising agency.
Usually when Microsoft launches a new product, they turn to established ad agencies including Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Deutsch or Razorfish. Not this time.
In order to compete with Apple’s iPad, Surface needed a grand introduction to the public -- something creatively at odds with a customary, agency approach. Enter Slain’s product showcase -- a short video with intense bassline and a minimal color palette, intended to simply show off the hardware.
"We just wanted to make the most awesome, badass video possible, so that when we gave it back to Microsoft they would either love it or we would never work for them again,” Slain and Keith Rivers [of Keith Rivers Films] told Business Insider.
Rivers was hired by Microsoft to create an online promotional video for the new Windows 8 tablet, Surface. Rivers called on Caleb Slain, 22, to co-direct the video despite the fact that he has no affiliation with a major advertising agency, according to Slain's publicist Tamaryn Tobian. Both are in their 20's.
The Surface ad pulled in about 6.2 million views on YouTube alone.
Slain was a film student just three years ago at Compass Film Academy in Grand Rapids, Mich. He has established himself since then as a screenwriter, film editor and director with two short films. He was awarded Best Young Filmmaker in March for The Lost & Found Shop in Ireland’s Corona Fastnet Short Film Festival.
Microsoft will release Surface in October against steep competition and a loyal fanbase for the iPad.
Microsoft’s tablet , measures only 9.3mm thick, and a kick-stand props the screen up over a slim keyboard. The Surface offers both a trackpad and touch keyboard.
Watch Slain's video above.
Clarification: An earlier version of this story did not make clear the fact that Rivers was hired by Microsoft to create the Surface spot.