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Microsoft retail store gets odd viral marketing buzz

post #1 of 127
Thread Starter 
In a cost effective effort to draw attention to the new Mission Viejo Microsoft Store, a new viral ad campaign is gushing about fun retail employees who start spontaneously line dancing to the Black Eyed Peas.

Microsoft drew initial crowds at its retail store launch by giving away hundreds of dollars worth of software, free concert tickets, free merchandise with new PC purchases, and by making significant charitable donations. But to keep interest up during tough times, things are now on a budget.

BradSlavin.com, a domain which was once parked as a search engine optimization page, has transformed to become a randomly written blog of a 35 year old man who excitedly writes generic copy about unrelated topics under the title "Subtle Persuasions."

The URL is just one of ten dozen domains run by Brad Slavin, who calls himself the "chief conversion officer" for a search engine optimization company that opened earlier this year. After two months of a few fake posts highlighting such professional milestones as the blogger's first "Facebook FML," Slavin posted a completely spontaneous dance routine that happened to bust out during his first visit to the Microsoft Store.

The visit wasn't even intentional, ostensibly. Slavin wrote that he saw the store was open while walking through the mall. "I guess I have been disconnected from the [Windows] platform for quite a while because I did not even realize that Microsoft had store but I have heard so many great things about Windows 7 I just had to check it out. I half expected the store to be a bland uninspiring cheap knockoff of an Apple Store, but WOW was I in for a surprise."

Something special in the air

Slavin wrote that "From the moment you first step through the door you can feel it, something is special, something is electric in the air. So many smiling faces, so many people engaged and fully committed to the experience and NO I am not just taking about the employees the nearly sixty shoppers in the store were having a riveting experience interacting with what is clearly the future."

After pitching the two products Microsoft doesn't sell in its retail stores, "Project Natal" and the $10,000 Surface PC, Slavin wrote that "Mid way through our visit the entire store broke out into song. Now I have seen this gimmick before at Coldstone Creamery and I know how they have been criticized in the media for it, but here it did not seem forced nor contrived, I would honestly say that this was the staff letting go, having some fun and not taking the brand all to [sic] seriously."



Double bypass

Slavin added "I was absolutely floored by this experience, Microsoft has made a bold move to capture new market share. I ordered a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate edition I have been a hard core Mac person for the past five years, I completely bypassed the Windows Vista experience but something is telling me that I am at a precipice looking directly into the future. Oh, and I just canceled my order for the 27inch iMac quad, I need a little time to think it over."

Another thing Slavin should think over is writing ad copy that says he "completely bypassed the Windows Vista experience" while the rest of his blog, including a "related posts" link just below the text, says things like "Windows Vista has been in development for roughly five years and I have been actively involved as a beta tester for the last few months" and "Windows Vista Ultimate is the perfect solution for a mix of multimedia and productivity."

Slavin's stilted video astroturf was mocked by Engadget, which compared it to Microsoft's "Rockin' Our Sales" Vista SP1 promo in "creepiness" and the Windows 7 Party campaign in terms of being "overly controlled."



Slavin linked back to Engadget, noting that "some of those comments are scathing," but Slavin's own blog is full of criticism from around the world, including a French post saying "Viral marketing FAIL: Oh My God. C'est pitiable." Reader Jake simply wrote "how embarrassing for Microsoft."
post #2 of 127
Be sure to check out the woman in the white shirt shop-lifting an item at the 2:15 mark.
post #3 of 127
I don't see this as a fail at all, but it is good to see someone finally point out it's essential fakey-ness. This video is obviously part of a campaign and after three days in the news, it's nice to finally see someone point it out.

Not that I ever really agree with the industry shills over at Engadget, but I don't see how this is "cringeworthy" at all. Boring maybe, but overall nothing to get upset about.
post #4 of 127
What would happen if a customer needed some assistance? "Oh Sorry, we are busy dancing instead of DOING OUR JOBS"
post #5 of 127
Painful to watch. Seems so forced.
post #6 of 127
How about, instead of dancing. They, y'know, help the customers?


This kinda comes across like your older uncle trying so painfully to be hip.



Edit: Damn, Loony beat me to it.
post #7 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Be sure to check out the woman in the white shirt shop-lifting an item at the 2:15 mark.

Small cost for a viral advert!!

Seriously, she must have known people would be videoing this. Wonder if M$ will take any action.

What I did find clear in the video, is how mush M$ has ripped off the style of Apple stores. Tables with stools, the actual layout of displays, even the display unit which this woman shop lifted a product from is identical to Apple's.

Personnally I think this viral will backfire as people see the M$ rip-off.
post #8 of 127
reminds me of when you go to red robin or chuck E cheese and they dance for you on your birthday.
post #9 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Be sure to check out the woman in the white shirt shop-lifting an item at the 2:15 mark.

yep. i was busting it. notice how she catches the employees turning around (and about to catch her) so whee she starts dancing with them.

as for this Brad guy, he's a shill. his blog, his youtube page. it is too praising to be anything but.

oh and having someone with a camera and a youtube page show up right as just the right song pops up, yeah it wasn't staged.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #10 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Be sure to check out the woman in the white shirt shop-lifting an item at the 2:15 mark.

That made my day! No one could check her out, they were all dancing.
post #11 of 127
what the hell is wrong with these people?
post #12 of 127
Suddenly all the staff who jumped ship from Apple to Microsoft realise their mistake.
post #13 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Slavin wrote that "From the moment you first step through the door you can feel it, something is special, something is electric in the air. So many smiling faces, so many people engaged and fully committed to the experience and NO I am not just taking about the employees the nearly sixty shoppers in the store were having a riveting experience interacting with what is clearly the future."

Slavin - First off - you're an idiot. Secondly - If I walked into a computer store and felt 'something electric in the air' I'd leave really fast. If a bunch of clumsy unfit looking people in bright shirts started spontaneously dancing, I'd run. How fucking embarrassing would that be? If this is an attempt at viral advertising I'd also be embarrassed. If I was MS I'd be offended and insulted. Why would you belittle the people who work for you? Why would you depict yourself as a complete dork?
post #14 of 127
hahahahahahahahaha
post #15 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Be sure to check out the woman in the white shirt shop-lifting an item at the 2:15 mark.

I don't know, it looks like she just had a magazine or something.

Anyway ... with the music so quiet that you can just hear the clapping, this looks like some kind of weird aerobics routine.

I wonder how many of the customers were planted there to make the store look busy.
post #16 of 127
bahahahahaahahahaahahaahahahaah
post #17 of 127
Aw, c'mon guys. Don't be so harsh. The Softies are allowed their fun too.... such as it is.... er.....
post #18 of 127
A spontaneous dance that is choreographed by 20-30 people? Only in a Microsoft world.

And if anyone doesn't think this Slavin person is not a paid, Microsoft freelancer, employee or whatever, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.

But so many fall for this crap. Scary.
post #19 of 127
Judging by the 1.5 star rating on the video, I'm willing to bet this was an epic FAIL in letting the world know this happened.

Canceled your 27" iMAC because of that? What horse shit. And even if you were being honest about the atmosphere in the store, uh, who do you think they copied with the colored shirts and store layout and...
post #20 of 127
Retarded. Like most of MS' marketing attempts, whether internal or external.
post #21 of 127
How ironic that Black Eyed Peace makes all their music (including the song that was played) on computers by the rival vendor in the same building (as with all other artists.)
post #22 of 127
Fat has unfortunately gone viral in this country, too.
post #23 of 127
Interesting, my first reaction was "Happy Birthday to You, Woo!"

Whole Foods allows the manager that sets up the stores to do something personal in each location. The Denver Cherry Creek store has a disco ball above the check-out counters. The difference is that they have they good sense not to use it.
post #24 of 127
Quote:
Slavin's own blog is full of criticism from around the world, including a French post saying "Viral marketing FAIL: Oh My God. C'est pitiable."

Obviously not since everyone is commenting on it...

Whether the video was supposed to be cringe-worthy or not, as a viral campaign it has worked. It's got everyone talking about Microsoft's new store. Mission accomplished.
post #25 of 127
Well, they have plenty of room to dance around, unencumbered by customers.

My Apple Store is almost always too crowded with customers for such antics.

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #26 of 127
Yeah, I can feel it. I can feel it building up in the back of my throat. Tastes sour... I don't think it's joy...
post #27 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel001 View Post

Suddenly all the staff who jumped ship from Apple to Microsoft realise their mistake.

And the ones that didn't are laughing their a$$es off!!

And the customers look highly annoyed for the most part...

I would be out of that looney bin in a heart beat.
OMG here we go again...
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OMG here we go again...
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post #28 of 127
...involving spontaneous line dancing breaking out in shops???

O

M

G

Just shoot me now!
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
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post #29 of 127
Completey Agree. Peopl are talking about MS ads. Now the talk is not favourable in the least. But MS isn't looking to be universally loved. It's looked to not be ignored.

Look at their Win 7 TV campaign. The only bright spot in it is when the "customer" has a flashback and they see themselves as leaner, more beautiful people. I find that funny in a "Family Guy" sort of way.

Overall it's bad marketing that draws attention to itself. At least that's better than all thebad marketing out there.

Maybe MS can get the ShamWow guy to do somethign for them. That woul dbe virally funny.
Make it idiotproof and they'll just make a
better idiot.
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Make it idiotproof and they'll just make a
better idiot.
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post #30 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by R3negade View Post

.... Black Eyed Peace ....

Now, that would be a great name for a band!
post #31 of 127
If MS wants to cultivate (pretend, copy) that "fun" and "hip" image . . . this isn't it.

You do that with your products. They haven't seemed to grasp that yet.
post #32 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Whether the video was supposed to be cringe-worthy or not, as a viral campaign it has worked. It's got everyone talking about Microsoft's new store. Mission accomplished.

Well, NO. There's a theory that there's no such thing as bad publicity, but actually - there really is. And this is it.

If no one had ever heard of Microsoft, then you might say, yeah, this viral thing put them on the map. For better or worse, certainly, but it put them on the map.

But that's not the issue. Everyone already knows what Microsoft is, everyone knows what windows is. This garbage didn't change that. All this campaign did was to perpetuate the growing perception that they are a joke.

Once they were respected - and feared. Now they're a joke. And they are creating that image themselves, with their very own money. "Mission accomplished", indeed.
post #33 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

Be sure to check out the woman in the white shirt shop-lifting an item at the 2:15 mark.

Take a closer look. The girl is simply a line dance junkie and in her haste to get in-step puts some book or magazine away in her purse.

Move along rubber neckers, now blood or gore here.
post #34 of 127
It truly a desperate times, they all probably has some real job they were laid off from and this was the only job they could get and they would do anything to keep their job even line dance, I would expect that in Texas but not Northern CA.
post #35 of 127
Proven again that white people in general can't dance.
post #36 of 127
Notice how the longer it goes on the fewer people care. Could this hold true for the Microshaft stores as well?
-360
post #37 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Everyone already knows what Microsoft is, everyone knows what windows is. This garbage didn't change that.

Everyone knows who Microsoft is, everyone knows what Windows is... but how many how that Microsoft has started opening its own stores? Not many, I would guess.

Quote:
Once they were respected - and feared. Now they're a joke. And they are creating that image themselves, with their very own money. "Mission accomplished", indeed.

At least they're not using much money. Viral marketing campaigns are very cheap.
post #38 of 127
I like the part where he said "I half expected the store to be a bland uninspiring cheap knockoff of an Apple Store, but WOW was I in for a surprise."

Has this guy even BEEN in an Apple store? Even the ceiling looks the same as an Apple store. The benches where merchandise is placed, the minimalistic placement of the computers. Heck - if they didn't actually say it was an MS store - it could easily be mistaken for one (minus the stupid dancers of course).

It is a clear Apple Store rip-off if you ask me.
post #39 of 127
This dance routine was cool for the first 30 seconds, but, after that, people start tuning out and become slightly uncomfortable.

It's like dance Nazis--people who are completely and totally convinced that everyone else, like them, loves to dance and makes it their business to drag everyone out onto the dance floor.
post #40 of 127
It seems to me with disaster after disaster at Microsoft, that they are purposefully making themselves look ridiculous and trying to run that company into the ground. I mean, how can you make mistake after mistake, before realizing, whoever is in charge here, is a complete retard (Ballmer). This video is just another nail in the coffin for Microsoft. How anyone can still buy and use a Microsoft product is beyond me.
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