The comedy writers at Microsoft have really been working overtime this week. There is much to be delighted with.
First, we have Microsoft’s entry into the zombie genre with the Return of the Kins. Yes, the very same Microsoft phones that died before the packaging was even dry, just 60 days after launch. The Kin One and Kin Two phones are back, courtesy of Verizon. They have curious new names (Kin One-m and Kin Two-m), fewer capabilities and they’re now billed as feature phones instead of smartphones. That oughtta work.
Laugh #2 comes from the video above. To be honest, I did not believe this was real when I first saw it. Not even Microsoft could be this inept. But lo and behold, there it is proudly playing on their official YouTube page.
Obviously this spot isn’t meant for broadcast — but that doesn’t make it any less of a criminal act. It’s one of those ads that leaves you aghast that so many people in the approval chain could possibly give it the thumbs-up. Not just because it has all the class of a Pee Wee Herman production, but because its strategy is so misguided.
The big advantage of Windows laptops? They can play Blu-ray discs. Like (a) you’ll really appreciate Blu-ray on 15-inch screen, and (b) you’d rather carry discs around than just download high-def movies onto your Mac.
More stunning than Microsoft’s strategy are some of the comments I’ve seen where this ad is posted. Some commenters believe Microsoft is “really fighting back now” after Apple beat them up for several years with the Mac vs. PC campaign. Must be a fine line between fighting back and total surrender.
Add to this the fact that Microsoft’s own chief XBox man in the U.K. recently said “actually Blu-ray is going to be passed by as a format.” Hopefully word will get to Microsoft’s marketing department soon.
The last laugh comes from Bellevue, WA, where a mega-Microsoft Store opened to a large and raucous crowd, complete with an appearance by Steve Ballmer. Not wanting to mess with success, Microsoft used its well-proven method of manufacturing large and raucous crowds — they offered free Miley Cyrus concert tickets. Guess those Blu-ray-enabled laptops weren’t quite big enough a draw.
See the festive opening video here. And don’t miss the 2:30 mark where Steve Ballmer actually does his famous tongue-sticking-out act as he welcomes an eager customer. Scary!
Anyway, good work Microsoft. If the whole technology thing doesn’t work out, at least you have a future in entertainment.