My word. I’ve only just seen the actual video Microsoft made to promote its “Windows 7 Launch Party” campaign, and I’m utterly flabbergasted at just how excruciatingly awful it is. It’s destined to be a true cult classic, even if the spoof versions are almost as funny.
We have a term for this in the marketing biz: “Adland”. Adland is that strange place agency people go where the reality distortion field around the product is so vast you think people will actually behave as you want them too. Whose idea was it? Who at Redmond actually thought people would think it cool to sit around each others’ kitchens and use Windows 7??!! They’re in Adland.
First off – the over-obvious nods to “diversity”. Yes, white folks, Windows 7 is so cool that black people will enjoy partying with your elderly relatives! And what’s great, too, is that everything’s so “informal“! In fact, the younger woman is so certain of this she uses the word “informal” at least seven times during the video.
But the best part – the most self-consciously, toe-curlingly, mood-strainingly terrible part – is the dialogue and the forced actions of the actors trying to pretend their laughter is a natural occurence.
These lines are actually spoken:
“It’s best to install Windows 7 several days in advance of your party”, with approving nods around the kitchen table.
“Of course, you don’t actually have to do all the party activities to use Windows 7.” – and the astonished gasps when the geeky white guy says he did THREE activities… holding up three fingers to demonstrate his counting ability. Whoa!
And how about that unintentional slip by the older woman:
“Of course, it’s all up to us (correction) you.” As if the embrace-and-engulf strategy had accidentally been put in the script and she corrected herself.
And how about this for data security policy: “It’s best to just leave your computer on and let people mess around with it!” Remember, it’s INFORMAL.
Then near the end:
“Of course, the serious part. Decide what you’re going to do a few days in advance, watch the videos, read the handouts” – oh, this sounds a bit FORMAL!
And the black guy: “It’d help me to remember I’m not a salesman at this party.” Bet he is in real life though; he’s not going to get rich for his acting ability.
Anyway, as they say in the video, “Have fun out there!”