Monday, July 7, 2008

Microsoft marketing success story

You don't rarely come across examples of Microsoft's marketing prowess, so when you do, it's blog-worthy (at least to me).

I was looking around for the latest information on Windows Server 2008 and came across this. (if you click it might ask you to install Silverlight - this is MS's latest web technology, similar to Flash but based on the .NET architecture so it's pretty powerful).

If you can't get to the link or can't see it for some reason (probably making the whole thing a failure in your eyes), MS has taken 'personification' to a new level. The page is a cool animation of a robot called 'IT 24/7'. It has links to information and videos about Windows Server 2008.

The brilliance is all in the imagery. Windows Server 2008 is all about lean, tough, easy to use, server software. The robot 'personifies' all of these traits. If you watch the videos it's like an aerobics instructor on steroids. Running, jumping, 'doing fitness classes in its downtime'. Its standing position on the load page looks like it is about to jump through the screen. It epitomizes 'action'.

The targeting is spot on. Most IT guys play video games. Microsoft also has huge equity in this space with the Halo franchise. In fact, some of the load screens for the Silverlight page could almost be mistaken for Master Chief.

The message is clear. Everything is done on message. Information is easy to get to and most of the major topics regarding server software seem to be covered. They don't waste time with 'content' for content's sake. It's like the anti 'gorilla' spot. Yet both seem to work.

Overall, one of these rare occasions where it all just seems to click. It works for the audience, works for the brand and is both entertaining, informative and memorable. All the things it needs to be.

'Pragmatically creative' is how I would describe it - I am beginning to love that term.

However, I haven't signed up for anything or found other ways that make it obvious how you can participate - other than the standard 'download this desktop background'. So they get 10/10 for creative execution and strategy, but the jury's out on the conversation/social media aspects of the campaign.

I couldn't find 24/7s Facebook page - even though it's kind of an obvious move.

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