Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Microsoft Marketing and Kylie age 4.5

I recall reading 6-8 months ago that Microsoft had recently hired a marketing firm to re-make the company's image after continuous negativity surrounding Windows Vista (the same firm incidentally which was behind 'The King' in Burger King's marketing strategy). Their work began to show up a few months ago, first in the form of the "we'll give you $800 to buy any computer you want" type of ads.

However, with Winodws 7 on the horizon, it seems that a new campaign has been launched: Kylie, age 4.5

When I saw the first of this ad series, I didn't think much of it. It's a 4 year old plugging in a camera to USB and downloading the pictures. Ok. Exciting. As with most of my TV watching experience, half of the fun is analyzing the commercials for intent. I couldn't figure out who Microsoft's target was at that point. The message seemed to be "Windows 7: so easy a preschooler can use it." But at the same time, I wondered why they would be targeting the sub-section of society that was looking for an OS that was that easy to use.

And then came the "happy words" commercial...

I saw that and went "wow that was awesome!" Odd thing is, all of my computer tech/programmer friends that I sent that video too also thought it was amazing. So I told myself, "Hey, Microsoft is doing their homework and trying to make cool commercials to target to techies who have long since stopped believing in them." It was exciting. Momentarily. (Ok, I'll admit to looking up what song that was a buying it on Amazon MP3 downloads, which if you're still buying stuff from iTunes quit messing with the DRM already and get it from amazon!)

I felt on several levels that this commercial worked because it...

  • The music. The epic conquer the world music makes the commercial. Hands down.
  • The juxtaposition of elements works -- ponies, and pink, and rats with hats have nothing to do with Windows, but what it does is push the concept of Windows out of the "boring" category -- effective!
  • The very last words on the ad are perfect: "I'm a PC!! ...and more happy is coming!" They're short and choppy like a kid would actually say it (well an ornery kid, but it fits rather well with not being in the "boring" category)

And then just a day or so ago I saw what is apparently the next 'episode' in the campaign:

So they're playing A-Team music... meh. I'm wondering if the "happy words" ad was just by luck that it was cool, and we won't be seeing much like that for the rest of the campaign.

By the way, if you didn't catch it, there is a pig in a bonnet in the first commercial. Watch it again!


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