Windows Phone 7 – Can we get 200k signatures to highlight the marketing teams’ fail?


Frustrating point needs to be made. I personally love the fact that a fan - yes there is one or two out there - of Windows Phone 7 took the time to create what I would call a fresh perspective on what the phone has to offer via  what I call a delicious amount of pixel candy.

Watch these video(s).

Original – What kicked all this off.

Follow-up – MIX11 Version (I’m guessing someone in Microsoft said “more app focus!!!” – DUMBASS!!).

It simply is punchy and simply zeroes in on the Metro User Interface that I hate, but at the same time am willing to live with provided it has seeded to the audience differently than it has today.

The current media in play around the world for the Windows Phone 7 is all over the place. Just last night I saw a new show in Australia that is sponsored by Windows Phone 7, the advertisement that accompanied the TV show was lack luster at best. It did little to draw out the selling points on the phone and more to the point, it had no personality.

I can honestly say that about all the commercials I've seen for the Windows Phone 7 they simply lack personality and are more along the lines of an Adult version of Barney & Friends (everyone is smiling, everyone looks plastic and it represents unreal situations that maybe if you're in Upper Suburbia it would make sense?)

The author of the above video has to audition for a spot in today's TV advertisement. He's got to get around 200k hits on this video before the wisdom of that which is Windows Phone 7 marketing agree to put that into your local TV station (assuming they'd agree to let it go beyond the online advertising where its much lower risk).

Here is why it is stupid to do that:

  • Free PR. If when they first saw it simply grabbed it, did some minor editing and then put it out into online campaigns it would have been a Lotto style good work story. If you had the right PR ingredients, you could have spun a bit of good will in most art magazine / websites etc. - headlines like "Single Intern designs Microsoft's biggest TV Ad". It is a fresh interruption for one, it is NOT Microsoft's style and lastly it is something you can get media agency style talent worldwide to read about (Designers are the future people remember that).
  • Better Differentiation. I am on record for my dislike for WP7 version of "metro" that aside, if that is the selling point on why this phone is different from the iPhone or Android. Then freaking sells others on it and I am not talking about a single screen with the usual tiles. Provide an audience a visual inspection in the comfort of their own homes on the said UI, highlight that its different - the phone hardware looks like an iPhone rip off but the UI is different. That is realistically the main differentiator and focusing in on features or apps the phone has in this early stage of the game is not going to get your users hooked.  Reason – They expected that anyway!!
  • Avoid Metrics. I feel like slapping the WP7 Marketing Team upside the head. You have a phone that is new and I want you to learn a harsh lesson from the entire Silverlight vs Flash experience. STAY AWAY FROM NUMBERS - that is to say, until you have a large mass of people adopting your product keep the hell away from any mention of any numbers.

    The last time the team put out the numbers around adoption of the phone, it didn't take guys like me long to do the basic math and come to the conclusion that while the numbers initially look impressive the reality is the adoption rate from downloading the SDK to selling an application is significantly quite low.

    Asking for around 200k in visitors to click "I heart Ad" for Wp7 is stupid as it is clear that the video will not get the hits in time and lastly it just told the market "not that many people care". The only people that are likely to know about this audition are developers firstly (thanks to MIX11 etc). So now you have just told us all that approx. there are less than 150k developers out there who care about Wp7. It's a loose number yes, but it's another piece in the establishing a baseline of what the sizing of the mindshare is around this phone.




    (Note: Notice the personal response vs. “You’re wrong, the math means blah”.. focus on the point not the person!)

If the video had gotten 500k+ in the first two weeks, boom you have a great story and the bet paid off. The reality is the original video has more hits than the follow-up, which is when it is likely at its interest peak.

Brandon has unique eye for the phone and in my opinion, this video should have gotten legs from day one. Microsoft failed and the moment has passed.

My frustration is this is a constant theme with Microsoft - they are given these rare opportunities and they constantly ignore the obvious signs of success.

I am looking at you Courier Tablet.

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  • James

    Why did you link the forum post? I don’t see the relevance other than making you look arrogant.

    I actually quite liked some of the older “ads”, I’m not sure if these ever made TV.. I believe they were from Mix10.–w

  • leon

    The courier… exciting, fresh, ground breaking and utterly depressing whenever I think of it and what it could have been!

    Bit of a side point, Android can also suffer from the same problem where network carriers block updates (unless you unlock the phone yourself). I hope that WP7 can continue to eke out a piece of the mobile market and looking forward to see if the Win8/WP8/Azure vision works out and brings something new to the table.

    Thanks again for the posts – enjoying them (even though hearing about WPF’s demise was a bitter pill to swallow).

  • Adrian

    Asking for around 200k in visitors to click “I heart Ad” for Wp7 is stupid as it is clear that the video will not get the hits in time and lastly it just told the market “not that many people care”.

    And that is the heart of the fail. Even if the ad was shitty (which it of course isn’t), it would’ve still made for a great and fresh story and MS/WP7 would’ve gotten a lot of press for free. Instead we get more happy talk ads and the wp7 team patting themselves on the back. I guess MS people just don’t get it!

  • Their version of the ad isn’t too bad if you hadn’t seen what they ripped off. It’s way too long though. The “Really” windows phone 7 ad I thought was brilliant, but I don’t think got any airtime in Australia.

  • ac

    First time I see these. Both had some good bits but were drawn-out. I think you could get something decent with following recipe:

    Take 10-15 seconds from the start of the original and 20-30 seconds of the app-focus from the second video and put some proper audio production. My first draft would be to start with “electricity” sizzling sound effects (for the flickering screens – though this flicker communicates that there’s a technical problem so it should only last for couple seconds and transition into some animations) and have a filtered percussion build up to the 2nd part with some catchy instrumental riff.

  • For me its not new because same thing happens with other OS also and for Iphone it is something stupid.