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Hyper-Achiever with No Direction and Tendency to Overcomplicate Situations Syndrome? ?
December 8, 2006 8:48 PM   Subscribe

Clearification Microsoft is launching a viral marketing campaign for Vista. It's only half done - it wraps up in January. Demetri Martin stars in a series of webisodes about his "rare condition". The best part of the campaign are the idle ramblings of Demetri on the main page. The campaign consists of an rss feed, a podcast, and the webisodes.
posted by disclaimer (41 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
umm...
posted by skammer at 9:01 PM on December 8, 2006


Wow, they sure get those hipsters supping on the corporate cock early. Did they offer him a limited edition two-tone Zune™ or something?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:04 PM on December 8, 2006


Why do people think Demetri Martin is funny? He's a guy that thinks he's funny, is certain he's funny, simply because none of his buddies at Yale ever told him he wasn't.
posted by frogan at 9:06 PM on December 8, 2006


Their marketers are on fucking drugs these days. It's not even a matter of the usual assumption about our stupidity that informs the admongers' efforts. MS has come up with so many cackhanded, tonedeaf efforts in the last little while you've got to wonder what's going on.

Clearification? Right. Sounds like a Scientology pitch.
The Power of Together? Um, OK.
Welcome to the Social? You're kidding, right?

I'm not an MS-basher, by any means. I like and use a lot of their products (which by the time they hit 3.0 or so, are usually pretty good). But they've really been embarrassing themselves lately.

umm...

Yeah. It's a bit of a fine line between talking about viral marketing (first, we kill the lawyers marketers) and participating in it (go eat a bag of hell, bad person). I assume the former, here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:08 PM on December 8, 2006


Surely having a big fat "Windows Vista" logo on the page stops it being viral? Just looks like MS trying to be cool, what with the quietly spoken hipster dude, and the hand-drawn effect etc.
posted by djgh at 9:21 PM on December 8, 2006


Microsoft is the America of consumer electronics. They can spend billions (literally) on long-term insurgent battles against entrenched companies. Unlike most competitors who might go up against Netscape (IE), Sony (xbox), or Apple (iPod) they can spend and bleed until they get it right.

Anyway, vista, what's the point? I was happy with windows 2000.
posted by delmoi at 9:33 PM on December 8, 2006


At first, I was going to say something about "hipsters supping on the corporate cock" as well. But to think about it - this really is more like the future of television, if not movies too.

I mean, the Tivo and downloading will kill advertising model we
"enjoy" today, if it hasn't already. We already get hit with virals and stupid product placements as it is (I'm baffled by the ones in "The Office" I see every week.)

But this punk kid Demitri - a second-rate comedian and sometime Daily Show correspondent who hasn't really found his niche yet... pitches and gets to make his own Wes Anderson-style hi def widescreen mini-movies, and all he has to do is put "Windows Vista" in the corner of the website. For most young filmmakers, that's a pretty damn good deal, and a brilliant production maneuver.
posted by fungible at 9:43 PM on December 8, 2006


I once took a class with a CSI professor, who pointed out that whenever you see the computer say "Loading..." or "Busy...", it's lying (it was working on whatever you asked it to, but then it stopped and refreshed the display with "Busy...", and in so doing stopped working on whatever the real task was).

I thought that was an interesting observation.

That was the only interesting thing on this site. It reminded me of that.
posted by teece at 10:11 PM on December 8, 2006


MicrosoftBluetm
posted by clevershark at 10:24 PM on December 8, 2006


Very unoriginal. Apple's marketing people get John Hodgman do do some commercials so Microsoft's marketing people follow suit by paying Demetri Martin, another Daily Show regular. Puh-lease...
posted by camworld at 10:31 PM on December 8, 2006


I just watched the first episode and I really enjoyed it.

Buncha fuckin' posers, you.
posted by kbanas at 10:41 PM on December 8, 2006


I feel so conflicted watching stuff like this or the Zune marketing.

My first reaction is a sort of vague disgust. Microsoft is just not a cool company. Not cool, not hipster, not po-mo, or any of the attitudes it's trying to project in this new wave of marketing. Its products aren't cool and its culture is not cool (full disclosure: I work there). This isn't a bad thing: they write some pretty decent software. But something about this co-opting of youth / hipster culture just makes my skin crawl.

But then I think, "Wait, you're upset that hipsters are getting commercialized? That 'youth culture' is getting co-opted for profit?" Great! These aren't the pinnacles of Western civilization we're talking about here. If MS makes a buck out of a shallow, novel-for-novelty's-sake culture, well, at least some good has come out of it.
posted by molybdenum at 11:51 PM on December 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


I laughed at some of it. If Apple does this sort of thing, it's cool. It M$ does it, it sucks. They can't win.

Microsoft is virally marketing Vista. But they did it by releasing a full version of Vista onto BitTorrent the day it went RTM (the Bill Gates version). Very Smart. Apple should watch and learn.
posted by bobbyelliott at 3:27 AM on December 9, 2006


But something about this co-opting of youth / hipster culture just makes my skin crawl.

I think it's funny when people think Apple isn't doing the exact same thing. They've just been more effective. Give it five years and Microsoft may have rebranded themselves--the success of the Xbox (and the Xbox 360) is certainly helping.
posted by The God Complex at 3:29 AM on December 9, 2006


Also, I think Demetri Martin is very funny, but I'm probably more his demo than a lot of you are (early twenties as opposed to... cantankerous loafs).

/hides
posted by The God Complex at 3:31 AM on December 9, 2006


I don't know much about Demetri Martin, he seems like he has the mechanisms of comedy down, but not the content.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:53 AM on December 9, 2006


I thought Demetri Martin's "Comedy Central Presents" routine was great.

About the clarification site - I agree that the idle ramblings of Demetri on the main page is the best part.
posted by Bort at 4:01 AM on December 9, 2006


Martin's CD These Are Jokes is a riot, especially the Personal Information Waltz feat. Will Forte.
posted by The God Complex at 4:34 AM on December 9, 2006


I started watching it, and he suggested I "click off", so I did. Cool.
posted by SteveInMaine at 4:53 AM on December 9, 2006


Win2K is insecure beyond belief. WinXP SP2 was the first build of Windows that wasn't trivial to remotely knock over.

Just sayin'.
posted by effugas at 5:04 AM on December 9, 2006


Microsoft is virally marketing Vista. But they did it by releasing a full version of Vista onto BitTorrent

Ah, so! The ancient joke that Windows is a virus that sucks up all your computer's resources has finally come true.
posted by sfenders at 6:05 AM on December 9, 2006


The problem here, as many people have accurately pointed out, is that Microsoft is inherently *not cool*, and their trying so hard just makes it seem...well, lame.

On the flip side, Apple *is* a cool company, it always has been - it's part of the genetics of the organization and it flows naturally, almost zen-like from the company. They have a knack for picking up on trends early and commericalizing on them **without appearing to be the corporate man**.

That's Apple's key, right there. They can get all kinds of cool people to pitch their products in a low-key manner, and sometimes in an in-your-face manner, but people tend to overlook it because, well, hey - they're a "cool company".

Microsoft trying to be cool is like your dad taking you to the strip club after years of telling you that you must be a focused, moral, law-abiding citizen, and then asking the stripper if a Benjamin Franklin might buy you a little 'sumpin extra.

Just not cool.
posted by tgrundke at 6:19 AM on December 9, 2006 [2 favorites]


edit: dad buying son a stripper is creepy.
posted by tgrundke at 6:22 AM on December 9, 2006


The site seems to be rather well put together and very cool, much unlike the company and OS platform it's pushing.
posted by chibikeandy at 7:31 AM on December 9, 2006


"Double-click THIS!"

What does that even mean? Am I supposed to wander around inviting people to click me now? Is that "cool?"

Oh yeah, well, click THIS.

Um.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:56 AM on December 9, 2006


Are people actually watching the episodes or are they snarking based purely on the idle loop of one-liners? Didn't really dig the "click THIS" stuff, but have found the episodes to be very amusing thus far (i'm only on two.)
posted by Mil at 8:44 AM on December 9, 2006


Why do people think Demetri Martin is funny?

I'm 38 and nearly peed my pants laughing at "Sames and Opposites." If he never does anything else that funny in his career, he will forever have a place in my pantheon.
posted by kindall at 9:44 AM on December 9, 2006


My take on Microsoft marketing attempts of late follow this sort of process:

• Microsoft marketing dept. contracts out campaign to young, hot, hip small agency .
• Young, hot, hip agency delivers a perfect concept to MS. It hits all the bases while managing to not pander to the target. It's fresh and appealing...a guaranteed winner.
• Microsoft marketing suits "polish the rough edges" and "refine the concept"...utterly fucking-up the message.

At least that's how it feels to me. A kernal of a good idea that just smells like a corporate committee got ahold of and choked any and all goodness out of.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:19 AM on December 9, 2006


I loathe Demetri Martin. Just had to say it.
posted by moonbird at 10:35 AM on December 9, 2006


/ still waiting for page to load up. It's Microsoft, so not really surprised.

/ pages loads, really wishes I hadn't seen it

I think Thorzdad nailed what happenned with this campaign, and tgrundke nailed M$ in general. Also yes, anything M$ does means they're screwed - they can't win no matter what they do. Doesn't change the fact that what they inevitably do disappoints.

Sure, youth culture getting co-opted isn't like the pinnancles of Western civilization getting destroyed, but anything getting coopted to make a buck is still sad. The whole enterprise should make your skin crawl - it's crawl worthy. I don't envy anyone who works at Microsoft, but then again, if they think they're making decent software, then 'viral marketing' is the least of their worries...

That it's Microsoft and that they're trying this 'viral' (which apparently equals handdrawn Vista logo?) approach is a little weird though - what, some kid in their 20s (is that their target audience?!) is going to upgrade their OS because of crap marketing like this? Fuck, at least when Beck sang loser he knew what irony was. Any indication that Demetri Martin knows how to spell? A little harsh, but really...the whole thing is lame and ugly, and it's a shame, because the handdrawn feel of it would have been nice to see somewhere else...
posted by rmm at 11:10 AM on December 9, 2006


The problem here, as many people have accurately pointed out, is that Microsoft is inherently *not cool*, and their trying so hard just makes it seem...well, lame.

On the flip side, Apple *is* a cool company, it always has been ...


*head asplodes*

Apple and Microsoft both co-opt "alternative" youth culture to make more money for investors. It's that simple. Whoever believe their brands *mean* anything (like Nike, Sony, BMW, etc) is a sucker. All brands = buy more of our stuff, and that's about it.

something about this co-opting of youth / hipster culture just makes my skin crawl.

seen any TV in the past 30-40 years?

heh, Loser just came on the radio ... serendipity.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:24 AM on December 9, 2006


Metafilter: Buy Microsoft!
posted by tkchrist at 3:47 PM on December 9, 2006


Demetri Martin is definitely not for everyone, but as The God Complex pointed out, he entertains his target demographic just fine (which includes me).

I don't really see the big deal in MS trying to be cool -- it just seems that young people think it's cooler to hate Microsoft than older generations do, so they're probably attempting to address this. And Apple isn't much better, as the above comments point out; for the most part, they have better brand identity, but it certainly doesn't make them that much cooler.
posted by spiderskull at 4:57 PM on December 9, 2006


There are so many people in this thread who are blithely drawing a dotted line between a fucking marketing campaign and the concept of 'cool' that I just don't know what to say, anymore.

*head also explodes*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:40 PM on December 9, 2006


Microsoft trying to be cool is like your dad taking you to the strip club after years of telling you that you must be a focused, moral, law-abiding citizen, and then asking the stripper if a Benjamin Franklin might buy you a little 'sumpin extra. Just not cool.

Well said.

Microsoft has jumped the shark and now blows donkeys.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:59 PM on December 9, 2006


Thorzdad: I agree with your first two points, but I think the third point should be:
• People hate on it regardless of how good or bad it is because it is linked to Microsoft.
posted by markr at 9:58 PM on December 9, 2006


• People hate on it regardless of how good or bad it is because it is linked to Microsoft.
Well...there is that, to. L
posted by Thorzdad at 5:57 AM on December 10, 2006


"Viral marketing" is like watching someone's grandfather try to rap along with Kanye West. What we really need is a good vaccine. Here it is: Microsoft Windows Vista is going to suck ass just as much as Windows XP before it.
posted by spitbull at 6:03 AM on December 10, 2006


I think Demetri Martin is funny; These Are Jokes made me laugh. Not all of it, but enough. And hey, at least he's not Dane Cook...
posted by inigo2 at 10:15 AM on December 10, 2006


Microsoft Windows Vista is going to suck ass just as much as Windows XP before it.

That's great news, XP works really well for me.
posted by The Monkey at 5:32 PM on December 10, 2006


I'm so glad this was posted. How would I ever have known about this marketing campaign otherwise?
posted by Mr. Gunn at 10:21 AM on December 11, 2006


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