The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Some Ideas Should Of Been Killed Off From The Start …
October 5, 2009, 6:14 am
Filed under: Comment

I’m sure we’ve all been in situations where something we’ve embarked on turned out to be a bag of shite.

Of course we didn’t think that would be the case … we went into it because it seemed interesting and full of promise … however for a bunch of reasons, things probably conspired against us and before we knew it, we were knee deep in shit without a paddle for miles.

Judging by his recent movie choices, I would say Jim Carrey would definitely resonate with this point of view – however putting occasional bad judgement aside – there are times where we are presented with concepts so bad, that you can safely say anyone who takes on the challenge on is either stupid/ill or delusional about their talent.

Which nicely leads me to this …

When I first watched it, I thought it was a Spinal Tap type of spoof … however, as it went on and on [and on] I realised it wasn’t, this was something serious.

OH MY GOD!

To be honest I don’t know where to start … however what I can say is that every time I watch it, my emotions swing between hilarity and despair … hilarity: because the whole premise and production is so totally absurd … despair: because I know how important the launch of Windows 7 is to Microsoft.

Maybe in years to come, it’ll be viewed as a cult classic like the movie SHOWGIRLS … however at this point, I can’t help but think people will see it as a total and utter car crash.

Now who to blame?

Well, it would be all too easy to say it’s Microsoft’s fault – and without doubt, they do have to accept some responsibility – however [and this is NOT because Microsoft are one of our clients] I would say the guys who need to take the longest and hardest look at themselves in the mirror is the agency behind it.

I appreciate ‘social media’ is the buzz word of the moment and agencies are continually trying to look ‘trendy’ [or at the very least, relevant] but who the hell thought the World would start organising Windows 7 parties?

As cool as the new operating system is, let’s face it, it ain’t Ann Summers or even bloody AVON … so it astounds me that an agency thought this was a viable strategy.

Hell, if they’d suggested to Microsoft they should encourage their employees to hold ‘BBQ’s’ [which the company will pay for] and invite their mates round to talk ‘new launch’, I’d of nodding in agreement, but this???

And then there’s the absolutely clichéd cast of the television spot [and it is a television spot, even if it’s being posted all over the web]

Token black man … old white bird … middle-American, soccer-Mom and nerdy white guy.

Of course they decided to completely ignore the Asian community – but maybe they assumed they will all be pirating the software anyway so there’s no point trying to click with them.

And what about the acting???

Seriously, I haven’t seen anything like that since I was ill and turned on ‘Days Of Our Lives’.

To be honest, I can’t think of anything I’d rather NOT do than attend a party hosted by these guy.

Not just because they look about as interesting as magnolia paint … or think having 6 balloons suddenly makes a wild party atmosphere … it’s because I have the sneaky suspicion they are probably all doing each other in the evenings and quite frankly the thought of that makes me sick.

Don’t believe me?

If your mind/stomach can take it, look at the clip again … if Soccer-Mom and Black dude aren’t doing the beast with 2 backs, I’ll eat my hat … and Granny is definitely up for checking out Mr Nerd’s hard drive.

The biggest cocks are bankers!

Hell, even the product placement is about as subtle as a brick.

I wonder how much SONY paid for their computer to be on the kitchen bench? Whatever it was, it was too much.

As I said, Windows 7 is very important launch for Microsoft … even more so given the issues they experienced with VISTA … so for their agency to even suggest, let alone produce this pile of rubbish demonstrates an alarming lack of taste, judgement and basic strategy.

The thing is, Windows 7 will sell by the bucket load … not because of the ads, but because it’s a great product with an audience that wants something better than what they’ve got … so I hope no one inside Microsoft [or beyond] makes the mistake of crediting the ads for their impending outrageously massive success because all that will do is encourage their agency to continue being lazy and irresponsible as well as further undermine the power and potential of the ad industry – which contrary to popular belief, I still believe has amazing potential to change the fate of brands and society as a whole.


38 Comments so far
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Good point about Paul verhoeven’s crtitique of the hypocracy surrounding dancers part timing as prostitutes.

Comment by Niko

its sunday so ill be fucked if im going to waste my personal time commenting on another piece of mccann bullshit except to say its totally fucking wrong/bad/shit in every fucking way and it should show microsoft the (no)demand agency doesnt give a flying fuck about them except their cheques and by the fucking looks of it they know theyll be running out of those soon which is why theyve produced this no idea wank to make as much profit out the powerpoint nerds as they still can.

and niko needs to go to fucking bed earlier.

Comment by andy@cynic

Thank you Mccann from everyone at Cupertino. 🙂

Comment by Bazza

where the fuck did you find that photo of me on the slack?

Comment by andy@cynic

Is this actually from mccann?

This seems to be the company (yeah) behind such things: http://www.houseparty.com/

It looks like it might’ve been an in-house decision, but then again I have no clue how they decide such things.

It’s so absurdly bad I couldn’t get myself to watch till the end and see if it got funny/sarcastic at one point, but everyone who’s seen it says no. At least the songsmith thing was funny in a pathetic sort of way.

Comment by rafik

if they wouldn t have known what they d done, they wouldn t have disabled the comments on youtube.

Comment by peggy

I’ve just read my post [which I appreciate I should have done before posting it] and realised I haven’t put the bit in that I really wanted to.

You see, one of the main reasons why I think the agency behind this [not sure who, but I have a good idea] should be taking a long hard look at themselves is because ultimately, they have been hired by the client to help them identify the most appropriate, effective and engaging method to communicate and motivate society to go out and – at the very least – find out more about Windows 7 and yet it appears from this spot, the agency either don’t really care about their role or how their client is going to be percieved or they simply have no backbone/objectivity which inturn, raises serious questions about the role the agency sees itself playing in their clients business.

Like I’ve already said, I am not dismissing Microsoft’s contribution to all this, however everyone knows what they’re like and as a representative of the masses, the agency should have – at some stage – pointed out that this was not going to work both interms of execution, participation and brand image because whilst many people will now know about the impending launch of Windows 7, the fact is, the image it is portraying is far worse than the ‘I’m A PC’ man utilised by Apple in their Mac vs PC ads.

@Andy: I found it in the photoshop files on your computer. 🙂

Comment by Rob

Fair point Rafik [I don’t know who did it hence I said ‘the agency’ rather than name names], but even if that is the case, my point that agencies should be as much about protecting clients from themselves as they are about engaging the masses still stands … and so if this was indeed an internal decision, it highlights how far adland has slipped interms of importance because if even the marketing department don’t think it’s worth discussing things with their agencies, then what hope have we got that the boardroom will welcome us back with open arms?

Personally I think their agency WOULD have been told about this – and whilst I obviously don’t know the background or what went on – I do hope that someone, somewhere stood up and warned them of the potential damage because to not do that either [1] shows a total disregard of responsibility or [2] acknowledges how little importance and impact advertising has on society.

Comment by Rob

It’s so very reminiscent of the songsmith ad (that had a mac in it and apparently was shot in-house) that I can’t think anybody else in the world, except Microsoft’s own marketing dept. could think it a good idea.

All MS agencies should publicly condemn this if they really didn’t have anything to do with it. A bit like terrorist attacks are condemned after they happen…and the sad thing is that i’m only half joking about that last bit.

Comment by rafik

But McCann’s thought the gorilla giveaway was a good idea Rafik.

http://robcampbell.wordpress.com/2009/09/30/on-your-marks-get-set-underwhelm/

And as grotesque as the production values are, they’re better than most clients could come up with so I’m still putting money on the agency having something to do with it. But as Rob said, even if the only invovement was them knowing about it, they should of said something. Maybe they did but then it means they need to work on their authority.

Comment by Bazza

One day I will use that tumescent cock shot. Classic.

Comment by Charles

there s some google cache of an adage site (in case anyone got no login for that, like myself) mentioning crispin, universal mccann and wunderman in the same text as with windows 7

http://tinyurl.com/yclzy4n

Comment by peggy

Watched it all the way through, first it was funny in a ‘they are geniuses for doing it bad to make it good’ kind of way, then there were tears because they were being serious and how cringe worthy it was, then desk pounding unbearable. I could see how it might work for people with no/little computer saavy – gramps, mothers, but would they ever buy software to upgrade? Any computer (with explorer, internet connection and word) should be sufficient for them.

You arent the only one with dirty thoughts when it came to this, here is one remix

Comment by Jacob

Can’t wait to see what they do for the launch of Windows 69.

Comment by DH

so while we re at it… http://tinyurl.com/yegdvsp

maybe wunderman had the idea? coz it s some word-of-mouth-direct-marketing gone wild

Comment by peggy

You know what Peggy, you could be right – for some reason I do think this has Wunderman written all over it, especially when I re-read this …

http://robcampbell.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/why-is-it/

Only issue is it’s not thinking ‘outside the box’, it’s thinking ‘inside the dustbin’ … though as I wrote in my post, the idea of using a ‘human network’ to demonstrate a new product is quite interesting – however when you expect the masses to follow suit, that’s when it shows an alarming lack of taste, judgement and knowledge of what is really going on in the real World.

Comment by Rob

And why the hell are you awake?

First Niko beats Andy to the first comment and now you’re still writing commentary when everyone in the ‘homeland’ is safely tucked up in their beds. What on earth is going on …

Comment by Rob

As an aside I’m sold on Windows 7 from peer review in digital social networks which is why advertising isn’t the solution. It’s the problem.

Microsoft need to fire a lot of senior management to turn around the way they talk to people. And that aint going to happen.

Comment by Charles

You’re with Baz aren’t you Jonathan.

You good? See you soon.

Comment by Rob

i really tried to sleep, rob. but i m way too excited – waiting for the launch parties to happen 🙂

Comment by peggy

I’m with you Charles … I think Windows 7 is going to rock though after Vista, so would Windows 95. 🙂

And Peggy, you are scaring me very, very much.

Comment by Rob

i didn t mean to. sorry 🙂

Comment by peggy

I can’t believe this is totally serious. It’s so bad, so diabolically evil that not even Microsoft at their mid 90’s anti competitive peak would have agreed to this monster as a real backed ad.

It has to be either a pisstake designed to create hype (tick) and awareness (tick) of Win7 pre-launch stuff; or something produced by a third houseparty on their “behalf” like scam ads at Cannes…

Surely?!

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I’m with Famous Rob on this one. So it smacks of Crispin then?

Comment by Charles

It wasn’t a pisstake, it’s deadly serious though to be fair – it wasn’t [apparentely] meant for external broadcast – but what do they think would happen when they put it on one of their major competitors websites – Youtube!

And careful Mr M, you’re close to sounding like that guy from Landor

[http://robcampbell.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/it-isnt-just-babies-or-gymnasts-who-can-put-their-foot-in-their-mouth/]

Comment by Rob

It’s advertising predicated on the no publicity is bad publicity thesis and has had some success on that score. Sadly, the thesis is bollocks.

Comment by John

It’s great.

Comment by Marcus

I am highly offended by any reference to similarity with the monstrosity of branding that is the Landor Pepsi file.

Just saying that MS in their current guise are likely too smart and too in with agencies like Crispins to be caught signing off shit like that in all seriousness.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

Can someone please call an ambulance, Marcus has been in his shed way to long.

And don’t get your knickers in a twist Mr M, you’re the one who implied all publicity is good publicity. 🙂

Comment by Rob

That’s a rather glib reading of my post…

(have I won Andy points yet?) 😀

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I started a company called cynic, how the hell do you expect me to read it? Ha!

Comment by Rob

you sexually immature sad bastard dave. well fucking done.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s great. Just brilliant.

Comment by Marcus

even more awesome than this shit is the fact that (apparently) you can’t upgrade from XP (the last known good operating system from MS) straight to Windows 7, which is supposed to be the band-aid for that nasty Vista wound that was inflicted a while back.

no amount of social media chitter chatter is going to reconcile the rage poor mum, dad, thousands of institutional procurement officers and tupperware party-goers have when they have to buy a shit os to install, only to upgrade to the next one.

facta non verba, peeps

Comment by lauren

Lauren – That’s true, but given the nature of operating systems that is by no means a first. If they operate in a different way then it’s possible it just won’t be upgradable.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

In case anyone’s wondering what’s in the Party Packs:

http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/10/09/unboxing-the-windows-7-launch-party-kit/

Comment by rafik

You don’t get much do you … not exactly going to be a wild time.

Though when I read the first comment on the post you linked us to Rafik, it kinda proved the people who get excited by this whole “idea” are not the sort with a huge experience of parties. At least not parties featuring other real, live human beings being in the same room as them.

Thanks for this. I think. Ha.

Comment by Rob




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