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Thursday, May 17, 2007

Ad Agency Deathwatch: Microsoft's Got a Blog (And a Movie!)

Microsoft's Digital Advertising Solutions department, with its ad agency Openhere, is on a mission to talk about itself differently. They set up a blog ( to update progress on their big project: shooting a movie. The intent is to distribute this film to advertisers to force a reevaluation of how they communicate with their audiences (and imply the awesome benefits of working with the department, of course).

The movie's elevator pitch:

"She is a consumer.

He is an advertiser.

All she wants is genuine affection.

All she gets is loyalty reduction.

The Break-Up. A story of love gone wrong.

Coming soon."

I've got mixed feelings about the whole thing. In honesty, Mac vs PC ads have tainted me, and Microsoft is now personified as a button-up sweater, taped glasses nerd in my mind. So I have a hard time believing it's not just a ploy. They have no problem planting the seed of real danger and risk, on the blog, though,

"A quite risky project if you know that the commercial explicitly challenges the advertisers - our clients - to question themselves and the way they communicate with their target groups. In this blog, I will keep you posted about the making of the campaign. I have also given the agency access to this blog, so that they can vent their ideas as well. As should be in this format, there is only one rule: “their are no rules!”

Also, by the end of the month, I’ll be able to tell you whether I still work as a Marketing Manager at Microsoft, or whether this project finally turned itself against me ;-) "

On the flip side, I am all about stirring the pot at the right time, so I am curious to see what the outcome is. Like when someone at the Mothership stumbles upon the blog that is written by a Microsoft employee and "includes information about Microsoft, the information available on this blog is not representative of Microsoft’s views or opinions."

But they pulled off the end goal, here's the movie below. (which started out as a "commercial" but was recategorized as "movie" later)

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