Window 7 – So Easy, Even You Can Launch It

September 24, 2009 at 7:51 pm (advertising, Branding, free, networking, News, social event, Social Events & Networking, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

In order to launch Windows 7, Microsoft isn’t sending out reps to address the masses, there’s no pomp and circumstance, and no caucus of bald men dressed as Dr. Evil marching in formation like Macintosh’s 1984 commercial would lead us to believe. Instead they are taking a queue from Tupperware and candle sales. That’s right, they are having a house party – several house parties to be exact.

To prepare for the main event there is a page on houseparty.com to get you pumped up about having your very own Windows 7 launch party. I love the introductory video, which invites you to the festivities and tells you how great it is to host a party. After all you are “just throwing a house party with Windows 7 as an honored guest. Sounds easy, and it is…” All you have to do is load Windows 7 onto your computer, clear off anything you do not want everyone perusing, double check your photo files – just incase your boss or preacher show up, and hope that no beer gets spilled on the keyboard by the guy who talks with his hands.

According to the video our four hosts got to have their parties a little ahead of schedule, and feel like dispensing some awkwardly scripted advice while feigning camaraderie. The video is even shot with cuts and camera zooms as if it was a home video done by someone who almost knew what they were doing. I enjoy the personalities of the four hosts – retiree, housewife, average young professional, and quasi-computer geek, who of course led three activities during his party instead of just two. I like that they tell you show the “help” section as a kind of last call to help wrap up soiree. And remember, “Part of the fun of a launch party is seeing what you already know and what you can figure out.” This gives me visions of my AutoCad teacher in college; everyday in class he would find himself telling us “well, this worked yesterday.”

I do have to commend Windows for adapting multi-tier marketing strategies to a multimedia product. It seems like a smart move in the current economic times, because no one can scream foul about them blowing access money on a big campaign or party. The ROI has to be nearly perfect, and as a buzz marketing case study it will hold value …but are they really only trying to put the product in the hands of the consumer, or really trying to save money – you be the judge.

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Buzz Marketing, What Made Twilight Sparkle

August 17, 2009 at 10:42 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

twilightcoverIn this world of fast paced real-time information how are books not only relevant, but still becoming cult phenomenons well before the movie is even in preproduction. We saw this meteoric rise with the Harry Potter series and now with the Twilight Saga.

Everything I saw about Twilight just reeked of teen and tween drivel about adolescent angst and insecurities mixed in with a love story and some vampires. Fast-forward to a few nights ago when I was having dinner with some friends, and the conversation shifted to who was on which book. Four out of the six adults, all in their 20s and 30s, were past the first book, excited about the next book, and talking about the saga with affinity.

How is it that book written for the teen and tween market jumped demographics into the realm of professional adults? Buzz Marketing. According to Advertising Age: One strategy that Summit Entertainment produced was to promote the books to moms. “We started trying to expand the mom base by offering it up as a portal to talk to their daughters,” said Nancy Kirkpatrick, president of Summit’s worldwide marketing. They even launched a blog called TwilightMoms. Many of these parents read the books, then got hooked themselves. They inevitably told other adults, who told other adults, etc expanding the demographic further. To help enlarge the fan base and talking points about the movie a nationwide mall tour was launched, and when the DVD was released it was done on a Friday instead of a Tuesday to avoid the school week, resulting in 3 million units sold on the first day.

To continue this buzz marketing strategy some DVD versions of the movie come with a free digital download from iTunes. In buzz marketing, seeding campaigns, where free or reduced price products are given away, can help boost cross pollination into other demographics. This is genius in the case of digital downloads for movies. Why? Consider this situation: Someone is going on a flight and taking their laptop with them. Instead of lugging DVDs around, they choose to use iTunes movies. Another flier is in close enough proximity to see parts of the movie that they otherwise never would have come into contact with, thus sparking their interest in watching the movie. After watching the movie he or she chooses to read the books and/or go see subsequent films, resulting in higher revenue.

While we’re talking about movies, here’s another fun tidbit: On August 28, 2008 Stephenie Meyer posted to her blog that “my partial draft of Midnight Sun was illegally posted on the Internet and has since been virally distributed without my knowledge or permission or the knowledge or permission of my publisher.” On November 21, 2008 the Twilight movie was released to theater going audiences. Talk about a happy accident! What better (free) promotion for a movie than scandal, not bad scandal – viral scandal. The kind of scandal that spreads faster than fingers can type on QWERTY keyboards, and news channels can broadcast the scoop.

In the wake of the Twilight Saga’s success there have been a multitude of branding opportunities including a make-up line, video games, conventions, comic books, and even an SAT prep book that uses vocabulary from Twilight. Will my eyes ever gaze upon the serifs of Twilight’s pages? Probably not, but I do know that it has entered an empirical piece of pop culture that few books ever have.

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