[sf-lug] Song and dance to sell software

Sameer Verma sverma at sfsu.edu
Thu Apr 17 00:00:18 PDT 2008

Christian Einfeldt wrote:
> hi
> <rant warning>
> On Wed, Apr 16, 2008 at 6:54 PM, Sameer Verma <sverma at sfsu.edu 
> <mailto:sverma at sfsu.edu>> wrote:
>     My sincerest apologies for sending this in, but I can't help it ;-)
>     Amazing where advertising dollars go...
>     http://opensource.sfsu.edu/node/500
> Yeah, that is really bad.  What a waste of $200k, because that is 
> probably what it cost to make, at least.  That is expensive camera 
> work, for one thing.  They probably have union camera crews and union 
> actors and union script writers, and union set crews.  And all of them 
> are going to be embarrassed at what they did for money.
> Who could this infomercial possibly be targeted at?  I can't imagine 
> what demographic it is aimed at.  The first thing this ad brings to 
> mind is late night television jewelry sales, it's that bad.  The only 
> thing I can guess is that some Microsoft exec somewhere hoped that 
> this would be a good use of money because it would get viral attention 
> since it is so bad.  But it's such stinky cheese that it runs the risk 
> of negative branding for Microsoft.  I am really kind of surprised 
> that they would have let something like this get out. 
It seems that this video is an internal "sales" video that got out...

> Don't watch it unless you can stand the pain of a seeing a really 
> poorly scripted, poorly acted mock up of Bruce Springsteen singing a 
> ridiculous song praising the anti-virus power of Vista Service Pack 
> 1.  You feel sorry for the actors who needed to appear in it to pay 
> their rent. 
> Some Microsoft ads are (regrettably) effective.  The TV ads with the 
> kid jumping off of the bus with an astronaut's spacesuit drawn around 
> him, and the tag line, "Your potential.  Our passion."  That was 
> effective.  Regrettably. 
> But this video is different.  It's almost as if it is Microsoft's 
> attempt to be casual like this viral Google gmail video, which was 
> stitched together by videos submitted by thousands of people, and has 
> gotten nearly 5.5 million views, despite the fact that it is overtly 
> commercial:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKAInP_tmHk
> It just seems as if everything Microsoft does is fake and lacks soul.  
> </rant>
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