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September 29, 2009

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Ron Miller

David,
I think you're giving Microsoft WAY too much credit here. They have this incredible tendency to make silly stuff, so in a case of social media kismet, you stumbled onto this and gave them some big love, but I wouldn't confuse this with being clever on their part. In this case, I think they were being totally serious (unless they really enjoy being made fun of and there really is no such thing as bad publicity).

Ron

Janice Brown

I was being somewhat facetious.

I would say that the real proof, as always, lies in measurement: does this video help MSFT (1) meet or exceed the target number of House Parties? and (2) contribute to sales of Win7?

Just ask the folks at Blendtec
(http://www.willitblend.com/), whose arguably goofy videos increased sales by 700%.
http://seopr.prwebdirect.com/releases/2009/8/prweb2707974.php

But I have to admit I am looking forward to the inevitable MSFT spoofs (see J&K's Divorce Entrance video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbr2ao86ww0) and possibly some interesting adult Halloween costumes.

karalee

David, great post and timely. I was just having a Twitter conversation about this very strategy tonight (Aussie time).

I think it is a very real and legit marketing strategy from Microsoft. I have been reliably informed they push Technet Parties (think Avon or Tupperware parties) out via their 'supporters', with incentives including free software. In the case of Windows 7, anyone who holds a party and loggs it receives a free software license ($400). So even though the parties aren't direct peer to peer selling, they are certainly indirect marketing.

And the tone of the videos? Look at their brand suit, this is their style. whether it is deliberate 'campy' for tongue-in-cheek, or authentic remains to be seen!

Jeff Quandt

David, This is the real thing. I have been a Windows 7 Beta and Release Candidate tester for the past 7 months. I received an invitation to host such a party several weeks ago and will be hosting a Win 7 Launch party in October.
The House Party concept is nothing more than direct Word of Mouth (WOM) advertising; having a product advocate talk to his or her friends about a product they use and like. The attendees get first-hand knowledge from a person they trust and perhaps some spiffs as well. There are a number of companies out there that are doing the same thing as www.HouseParty.com for a variety of consumer products.
To me this is similar to hosting a Tupperware party, but I do not take any orders. The friends I have invited all know me as a Marketing Geek (a marketer that enjoys technology) and want to hear it from someone they trust about this new Microsoft operating system.
Let's face it, Microsoft stumbled badly with Vista in 2007. Even I, a long-time PC user, hate Vista, but have found that Microsoft did their homework on Windows 7. What better way to reach end-users than through advocates with a credible message? This may also be viral in nature; he attendees spreading the message via WOM.
The videos, well, I have not watched all of them yet. From a marketing standpoint the personas that Microsoft is using in the videos is just as interesting; a geek-of-sorts, housewife, senior citizen, and multi-cultural "normal Joe." That also speaks volumes on who Microsoft thinks will be hosting these parties.

Greg Jarboe

If you watch a few of the "Will It Blend?" videos, you'd wonder if they were "bad" or geekie. But 82.7 million views later, they have boosted sales 700%. So, who gets the last laugh?

David Meerman Scott

Great comments. Many thanks to you all for stopping by.

Jeff - I do think that the house party concept is real and you have certainly confirmed that (thanks). I still gotta wonder about the videos. The MSFT muti-cultural house party video seems so contrived as to be hysterical. Brilliant either way that you look at it I suppose.

And again I'm writing about Microsoft Windows 7. Ugh. They got me.

Omar Halabieh

Hi David,

I think the idea of this campaign leverages a number of the new rules of Marketing & PR but blends in the traditional word of mouth approach. The later, as described by GM's CEO in an earlier post, is the most effective marketing tool. I think the competition that Apple created in the advertising space against the PC and Microsoft has forced them to come out with something out of the box and the post here and comments speak to it.

Regards,
Omar

Codruta Moga

I couldn't watch the video more than 2 minutes, but I did pass it over to some co-workers and started a conversation. One said the product is better than the ad.

It went viral because a lot of people asked themselves the same question "is it real?". It has to much fake enthusiasm not to pass it over.

But I do have some doubts that they will infest a lot of people with this excitement to host Winds 7 parties.

regards,
Codruta

r4 software

why would anyone else then MS would like to host an party for W7? I am reading the same content in 7th blog today. I can not get it. Please provide more information over it.

Jeff Jackson

I discovered this last week and watched about 1 min of it. I think something can be both bad and viral, like the bing goes the internet video, but since this is so unbearable I do not think it counts. People are talking about how it is hard to watch more than the content of the video.

I think the video was filmed by the Olive Garden Commercial creators. It's just so cheesy.

David Meerman Scott

Jeff - I love this quote: "I think the video was filmed by the Olive Garden Commercial creators. It's just so cheesy."

Nick

I didn't think it was clever at all, I just thought it was stupid...

vitamin d

Excellent Article. I have been a Windows 7 Beta and Release Candidate tester for the past 7 months. I had watched the Video. The video is really interesting.

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