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Old 05-31-2009, 04:00 AM
Adam Krebs
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Default Toms Hardware: Billy Mays To Be New Zune Pitchman (Weekend Humor)

<div class='os_post_top_link'><a href='http://www.tomshardware.com/news/satire-toms-hardware-news-reviews,7931.html' target='_blank'>http://www.tomshardware.com/news/sa...views,7931.html</a><br /><br /></div><p>"<em>Microsoft has hired the omnipresent pitchmen Billy Mays to help convince a skeptical public to buy its new handheld media device, the Zune HD. The company is hoping Mays will be able to do for Zune HD what he has done for other products, such as OxiClean. The move represents what some analysts deem to be a natural progression for Microsoft&rsquo;s advertising campaigns. &ldquo;They are following one of the basic tenants of advertising and promotion theory,&rdquo; says Professor Jim Work of the Wharton School of Business. &ldquo;Microsoft first started with a series of Jerry Seinfeld commercials that were about as easy for the general public to understand as a Jackson Pollock painting or a voicemail message from Bob Dylan. When that failed, Microsoft decided to put itself in the customer&rsquo;s shoes with people trying to find low-cost computers that, coincidentally, were unavailable in Apple form. Finally, the company has decided to throw caution to the wind with the incessant yelling of Billy Mays.&rdquo;</em>"</p><p><img height="400" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/resizer/thumbs/size/600/zt/auto/1243731343.usr495.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #d2d2bb;" /></p><p>Sure this is a joke, but it brings to mind some bigger issues; how will Microsoft market the Zune HD? The <a href="http://www.zunethoughts.com/news/show/208/watch-the-zune-ads.html" target="_blank">funky, off-beat</a> advertizing they tried for v1, the "Welcome to the Social" tagline, and even the latest "<a href="http://www.zunethoughts.com/news/show/93706/new-zune-pass-ad-pushes-subscription-benefits-misses-the-point.html" target="_blank">$30,000 to fill an iPod</a>" have all fallen flat. Maybe it's time they tried a different (different) tack. Could a self-aware TV pitchman help?</p>
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Old 05-31-2009, 04:23 PM
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Possibly but it would smack of desperation.
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Old 05-31-2009, 11:28 PM
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Ok...when I saw the headline on my RSS reader..."Weekend Humor" was not there to save me from the panic that had ensued. But I agree, Microsoft really needs to just hit it out of the park with the Zune HD marketing.
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Old 06-01-2009, 01:01 PM
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Maybe pitchman is not the answer. Maybe Microsoft needs a crowd.

1) Apple only had pitchmen when they represented a particular genre of music (Bono for example). The rest of the time, they used people enjoying their MP3s.
2) Social implies groups of people not singular pitchman. I see social situations. On a bus for example where someone is enjoying a track and shares it with an unknown someone across the aisle. Of course both are young and attractive and could become romantically inclined.

Another situation could be one of those ubiquitous Seattle coffee shops. The scene shows people staring off into space or engaged with their laptop. In comes a Zuner (new term) enjoying her tunes when she spies another Zuner who seems interested. They exchange tunes and walk out together.

In both cases - there is no dialog. They just exchange glances, tunes and a path.

Maybe I've got the wrong idea here. Whatever Microsoft does, it has to be different from Lisa Simpson's Mapple and has to encourage more than one person.

In any case - if Microsoft is reading and wants to use these ideas, please do with my blessing. Just say Hi.
Bill B

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