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Microsoft’s 24-hour Seattle Road Trip

Video: 24 Hours in Seattle

Microsoft did this video showing off how fun living in Seattle can be (and, presumably, why you should want to relocate there to work for Microsoft). Kevin spends 24 hours traveling the city (technically 15, since he quits at midnight), showing us the sights, the coffee, and top-secret Microsoft stuff.
(via Heather)

November 20th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing | no comments

Cute Microsoft Job Recruiting Site


Check out this funny website marketing that explains why you should want to work at Microsoft. It’s worth your time, as the videos are quite entertaining.
(via Heather)

October 23rd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Corporate, Humor, General | no comments

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Project Gotham Racing 4 “Skid Art” Ad

Check out this ad made for PGR4, called “Skid Art”:

If you remember, this is the ad in which a Ferrari F430 crashed mildly into a wall. Shame they didn’t include the crash in the video. The ad was produced by Method Studios, who also did the latest Halo ads. Honestly, these guys are great, and Microsoft should keep using them.
(via Long)

October 2nd, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Xbox 360, Xbox | no comments

Halo 3: 20 Hours Away - Bad Marketing Ideas

Reuters has an article about some Halo 3 marketing ideas that were left on the cutting room floor, pretty much for the right reason. They include pajamas, sippy cups, lottery tickets, Cortana-themed lingerie, and toy guns based on Halo weapons.
(via Joystiq)

September 24th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Halo 3, Marketing, Halo, Xbox 360, Xbox, General | no comments

New Halo 3 Ad: Museum

Take a look at this new ad for Halo 3, the first in a new series, called Museum:

The ad is designed to remind you of video interviews with World War II veterans, the 3D diorama is very detailed (and very well shot), as well as impress that Halo is about war, a very emotional thing. The whole thing just gave me chills.

Joystiq has a few things to say about how the ad feels so real, it might offend veterans of real wars, or people fighting for our country right now. Kotaku has details about the diorama, which is 12 feet tall and is likely to tour the country, making stops at various Halo events.

Here’s the second ad, called Believe, focusing more closely on the miniatures:

Here’s the first parody, made by Consolevania, showing what the reality of playing Halo 3 is like for most of us:

Can anyone explain to me why embedded GameVideos don’t play in Opera?

September 17th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Halo 3, Halo, Xbox 360, Xbox | no comments

Live Search Eskimo Commercial

Check out this Windows Live Search commercial about Eskimos:

Video: Windows Live search on Hutch network

(via Miel)

September 17th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Live, Windows, Search | one comment

Microsoft Prepping Halo 3 Launch Festivities

Some news coming through about the runup to Halo 3:

Brand Week has a story about the $10 million marketing blitz that will be building like crazy in the coming weeks. This week, expect a new TV ad series titled “Believe”, with fellow soldiers testifying to the greatness of Master Chief. Mountain Dew has a soda, and 10,000 stores will be opening at midnight to present the game to diehard fans as Microsoft strives to sell more than $125 million worth of copies.
(via Kotaku)

Xbox 360 Fanboy lists the four major launch events at Best Buys in New York and Seattle, a Gamestop in LA and a Circuit City in Miami, with big parties and chances to play the game and win stuff. Also, there will be special activities and promotions, free 3-day Live Gold cards for everyone, a chance to win a Pontiac, Marketplace goodies, Game With Fame sessions, and a Halo 3 NASCAR car. Read more here.

And there’s something about Wal-Mart having “special checkout lanes“.

UPDATE: I missed a part of one of the articles that mentioned that the 3 days of Xbox Live Gold will not be a coupon, but rather that everyone will be getting free Live from September 25-27. Nice! Of course, I’ll be too busy playing the single player campaign to take advantage of it.

UPDATE 2: There’s now a Best Buy-sponsored theme and picture pack for Halo 3 on Xbox Live, completely and utterly free. Also, Best Buy is sponsoring the three free days of Live.

September 11th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Halo 3, Halo, Xbox 360, Xbox | no comments

GTA IV Delayed, Zune Dogfighting Ad, PGR4 Ferrari Crash, Copy To Folder, 69,203 Prize Tropicana/Xbox Promo

Catching up: I had a crazy week, with me and my wife going on a short wedding anniversary vacation, one of my best friends getting married, and my aunt and her family moving forever to another continent. There’s a lot of stuff filling up the queue, so we’re going to go through it double time

Grand Theft Auto IV Delayed To 2008

In what is terrible news for many people and several companies, Take Two announced that it was going to miss the planned ship date for Grand Theft Auto IV, and that the game will not hit stores until their second fiscal quarter, January-March 2008. Not only does Take Two miss the all-important holiday shopping season at a time their financial problems continue to mount, but Microsoft loses its “holy trinity” blockbuster lineup, with Halo 3 and Madden not being joined by the top-selling franchise.

While you wait the next six months, you can enjoy this detailed preview of the gameplay. You buy guns out of the trunks of cars, every building has a street address, resumes, and in-game cracks about violent video games, it’s all there.

Though pre-ordering seems stupid now, it is interesting that 60% of GTA IV pre-orders were for the Xbox 360 version.

Latest Zune Ad Features Chaos In The Sky

Check out one of the latest Zune ads, this one featuring the good kind of dogfighting (the planes and missles kind, not the Michael Vick kind):

Zune Airplane commercial

(via Gizmodo)

Ferrari F430 Crashes During PGR4 Commercial

A Project Gotham Racing 4 commercial was being shot with a Ferrari F430, a $227,000 Italian sports car, when the racer hit the wall. It’s not the worst crash, but knowing the repair bill, it isn’t pretty:

The damage:

Add “Copy To Folder” To Explorer


How To Geek has a really cool registry hack for Windows Vista/XP that adds “Copy To Folder” and “Move To Folder” to right-click context menus. You right-click on any file or folder and click the new menu item to get a dialog which lets you select where you want to copy or move the file to with a simple click.
(via Download Squad)

69,203 Prizes Available From Tropicana and Xbox Promotion

Xbox 360 and Tropicana Twister are running a promotional giveaway, with just under 70,000 prizes to be won. The three Grand Prizes, trips for two to Xbox headquarters in Seattle, are dwarfed by the sheer number of other prizes. 200 first prizes get an Xbox 360, extra wireless controller, Play & Charge Kit, Vision camera, Quick Charge Kit, remote, wireless adapter, wireless headset, memory unit and two games. 4,500 second prizes get two games; 9,500 third prizes get a 360 Twisted Faceplate; and 55,000 fourth prizes get 100 Microsoft Points. So many prizes to win, so enter now

August 7th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Windows Media, Zune, Marketing, XP, Vista, Xbox, Xbox 360, Windows | one comment

Try To Beat Me On The Windows Live Derby

Live Search Derby game

Microsoft is running another game around Windows Live, this time the Windows Live Derby. In this game, you drive a little car around one of five cities (New York, London, San Francisco, Seattle, and Las Vegas), picking up dots Pac Man-style, and either avoiding or smashing the other cars on the map. You are driving around the aerial imagery from Windows Live Maps, which is how it promotes the product, and you earn extra points picking up special locations around the map.

Live Search Derby cities

As you can see in this screenshot, I am right now number one on the leaderboard:

Live Search Derby high scores

Beat me? Let me know. What’s a real shame is that this game, which is a good amount of fun, is not part of the Live Search Club. I love Chicktionary, but I’d rather play this game all day to win prizes.

(via AdWeek)

July 24th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Maps, Live, Windows | no comments

Stupid, Stupid Acer

Robert McLaws provides the wonderful, ironic, hilarious bookend to the Microsoft free laptop story of many months ago. Earlier this year, a few companies, Microsoft, AMD, Acer, and Velocity Micro, sent out free computers to certain bloggers promote new hardware running Windows Vista. The program was discussed and criticized on many websites, with some calling it bribery while others saw them as review units.

Now, Acer CEO Gianfranco Lanci is getting quoted all over the place as saying that “The entire industry is disappointed by Windows Vista” and criticizing Microsoft’s new operating system. What is truly wonderful is Robert’s response.

Well, for the record, Mr. Lanci, nobody would buy one of your machines specifically for Windows Vista, at least based on my experience.

Yes, Robert got a free Ferrari 5000 laptop from Acer, one that everyone was sure would bias him immensely. Well, he doesn’t sound so biased. Despite the free hardware, Robert bought a Dell so he could have a decent system to work on. I don’t like to put words in other people’s mouths, but it sounds like he hates the Acer computer, or at least Acer’s support and crappy drivers. Looks like those who got the Velocity Micro Media Center PCs were the real winners.

Acer didn’t buy love or coverage when it sent out those laptops, it just shined a light on its hardware. When you shine a light on crap, it just means everyone can see your shit.

July 24th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Vista, Windows | 2 comments

Microsoft Voted Top UK Brand

A survery of 3,000 consumers by monitoring group Superbrands named Microsoft the top brand in the UK for the second year in a row, beating out Coca-Cola and Google. Interestingly, a parallel survey of marketing and media experts didn’t even put Microsoft in the top 10, which might show you how much these “experts” know about their target audience. I’m just surprised Microsoft did so well after the massive overcharging for Windows Vista.

The consumer top 10:

  1. Microsoft
  2. Coca-Cola
  3. Google
  4. BBC
  5. BP
  6. British Airways
  7. Lego
  8. Guinness
  9. Mercedes-Benz
  10. Cadbury

Lego? Man, people are weird.
(via The Raw Feed)

July 18th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Google | 3 comments

New Zune Ad Features Crazy Cubs

Check out this new Zune ad:

Zune ad
Uploaded by sabo-tage

Those are bear cubs or teddy bears, right? Whatever they are, it’s a real crazy ad, very trippy. Thought?

July 12th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Zune, Windows Media | 4 comments

It’s Hot Or Not For Coders!

Developer or Coder

Microsoft has this really cute site, “Designer or Developer“, asking you to look at a picture and decide if the person pictures is a designer or a developer. It certainly shows stereotypes are useless, since it took me 12 turns to get a single one right (although the Borat question was not fair!), though I did get better. Have fun, and remember that the site is promoting Expression Studio.
(via Frank Arrigo)

June 25th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Developers, Humor, General | no comments

Windows Live Search Commercial, The Morning After

Check out this commercial for Windows Live Search, apparently running before movies in Canadian theatres:

Video: Live Search commercial

I like it, more so than the Ask ads, though I wonder how well it’d fly in the U.S.. Probably would do just fine.
(via LiveSide)

June 25th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Live, Humor, Windows, Search | one comment

Fun With Vista Devices

Laurent Gébeau of the Tout Windows site (a French site about Windows) posted this video as a response to my oPhone video:

The text at the end says “Windows Vista: compatible with your peripherals and software” and “compatible also with all the data-processing marks”, whatever that means.

Laurent runs a pretty cool website and Live Spaces blog, albeit in a language I don’t understand. Still, check out this other video posted there:

Imagine Cup 2007 Promo Video:

By the way, oPhone is up to 339,535 views on YouTube, 307 comments, and 499 favorites. Damn.

I should give Microsoft marketing points for everything I see, giving them +/- on their efforts. Like the Vista devices video gets 15 points. Lets keep a running tally.

June 11th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Vista, Humor, Windows | no comments

Dell Really Just Doesn’t Like Vista

Dell created this video showing consumers the difference between Windows XP and Vista, and you just get the feeling they don’t like Vista much. Considering they decided to start offering Windows XP again to their customers recently, for the same price as Vista, they really aren’t showing a lot of enthusiasm for Microsoft’s latest OS. Long Zheng says, “I can see why Vista isn’t selling well with crap like this.”

Dell just isn’t able to create buzz for its products. HP seems to be about 10% short of a coolness resurgence, Apple is doing real well, and all I want is an Asus laptop for my next system. But Dell? The only thing I want from them is the XPS M2010, and it’s the type of system you need an hour of testing to decide if worth it (and unless it makes it to Wal-Mart, no one ever will). Your marketing needs to be enthusiastic, otherwise why would your customers be enthused? Dell could learn several things from Microsoft, if it showed any excitement for Microsoft’s products.

June 7th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Vista, Windows, General | no comments

Microsoft Up For Award At Cannes Lions

Long Zheng reports that Microsoft, AMD and 42Entertainment will be at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival this June 17-23, hoping to win an award for their excellent Vanishing Point viral marketing campaign. Vanishing Point, a well crafted huge success designed to hype the release of Windows Vista, is up for an award in the Titanium and Integrated Lions category recognizing breakthrough and innovative marketing integrated in multiple types of media.

Good luck to all of them. They did a great job with Vanishing Point, and deserve the recognition.

June 4th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Vista, Windows | no comments

Ads Should Make Love To You


I love talking marketing here, as its one of the biggest (if not the biggest) challenges Microsoft faces, and Microsoft’s Steve Clayton has this great image showing the different methods of reaching the customer: marketing, PR, advertising and branding (the image above is one of them). It makes a great point, especially the one about branding, and I feel like it relates well with the “Break Up” film MS produced recently.

I’d love to see the Break Up concept stretched to cover the four roles in Steve’s post, perhaps showing the consumer getting hit on by four guys. Could be hilarious and hugely informative to marketers who aren’t doing their job right. The main lesson: Look at the consumer as a potential date, and decide if your hype is only going to leave that date dissapointed in your performance at the end of the night. If it is, you need to work on your skills before hitting the bar again.

Oh, and if you don’t know it, all the chicks want to sleep with Apple.

June 4th, 2007 Posted by Nathan Weinberg | Marketing, Apple | no comments