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.

  • You know, this would wash if Microsoft actually listened to the complaints of their customers…but when you get so many voices they tend to blend into a dull background roar…

    One of my oldest friends was a beta tester for Microsoft for years. Well, last year, with the advent of VISTA, he finally defected…and turned MAC. His reason? According to him, the DRM (digital rights management) is so deeply embedded in Vista, that they’ll never be able to fix it properly. It’s bigger and buggier than any previous OS they’ve produced, and he finally decided enough was enough.

    This is such a classic example of Microsoft’s ongoing disconnect with reality. I can think of few other companies that so firmly embody the principles depicted, on a daily basis, in DILBERT…

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  • Nice posting and good point… we can only speak about the department we are working for of course and that is Microsoft Digital Advertiser Solutions. Within that department we are trying to talk the talk and walk the walk. The main reason is of course to open the debate and join the conversation… then it is up to us to proof it.

  • “Precisely how Microsoft changes the conversation between advertisers and — note my word change — customer, I’m not sure.”

    It could be a change in case there had ever been a conversation.
    The movie looks like depicting the wrong type of marriage.
    I see the relationship between advertiser and consumer much more as a Muslim kind of marriage where of course the husband IS the advertiser and the wife the consumer.
    Of course the man in a Muslim marriage never cares about his wife, as long as she listens (kind of euphemism) to him.
    Anyway, just as in the commercial life, if one wife doesn’t behave, who cares… there are many others…

  • chico haas

    I’m not sure what is meant by conversation or dialogue. (I know someone can set me straight.) Instead of running a spot on Lost, you build a cool site or post something on youtube that gets a lot of hits, great, it’s just another medium for your monologue with some camouflage. You may be reaching your target virally, outside of the mainstream, and that’s nice, but there’s no conversation. It’s just a newer venue for your message. Even at best case, you can post a comment or question on a site, like on this lovely blog, and maybe you’ll get an opinion back or, in the case of a corporation, get the company line. That’s not a dialogue. A MiniCooper billboard sends you a voice or text message when you drive by in your Mini: Nice car, Pete. That’s it? That’s reaching people in a meaningful way? But I do love the category name: Interactive. I think the only meaningful dialogue we have about products is when we ask someone: How do you like your Mini? “It’s nice.” “It blows.” It’s old school, but it’s trusty.

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  • An old Trojan horse with a new twist — victims are tricked into installing a virus that masquerades as a video clip. But experts disagree on the risks.

  • The movie looks like depicting the wrong type of marriage.

  • cool
    nice blog


  • MS keeps making us grab our ankles.

  • Loved the video, very clever.
    I feel this video would be more valid 3 years ago than it is today.

    Now that we have social media for user feedback, companies can’t only pay attention to themselves. If feedback from consumers via social media is ignored, company X will fall behind the competition.

    Hilarious video tho.