Microsoft’s video virus

I perused the Viral Video Chart and came across a produced video dramatizing the divorce of a beautiful woman labeled “consumer” and her husband labeled “advertiser.” All he cares about is himself; he just doesn’t understand or listen to her.

It’s clever and slickly produced and it turns out it was produced by Microsoft to pitch its “digital advertising solutions” (which, by the way, will only expand when and if it takes over aQuantive). It’s the rare case I’ve seen where a company set out to create something viral and succeeded, at least as measured by the Viral Video people and by its ratings: 31,000 views as of today. The video links to a blog that is all about making the movie and explains why they made it: “We want to try and tell that digital media is not about technology but about quality of communication, about the interaction between 2 people. There is no better medium than a movie to symbolize the one-to-one communication between people, in this case between an advertiser and a consumer.” Precisely how Microsoft changes the conversation between advertisers and — note my word change — customer, I’m not sure.