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Monday, Jun. 16, 2008 at 3:23 pm

It’s Not YouTube, It’s Me…

By Dave Young
June 16th, 2008

Last year, Geert Desager produced a short film called “The Breakup” for Microsoft that made all of the marketing circles, was presented at conferences of very smart people and applauded widely. My question is, did you remember that it was a promotional/viral piece for Microsoft Digital Advertising? I didn’t.

A friend recently sent me a link to “The Breakup” on Geert’s blog, where I discovered that they released the sequel just a couple of days ago. Check it out for yourself: “Inspiration, anyone?

I still have to ask how this ties into Microsoft Digital Advertising. Don’t get me wrong. I love the sequel. I love the message. I’ve watched it a dozen times already.

Sure, most of us can connect the proverbial dots, so long as they reside on the same page. But if you watch this video out of context (which is how we watch most viral videos), what is your next step? Sure, they tell me where to go at the end of the film, but how about a few more clues? What should I expect when I get there? The minimalist approach to messaging might work for some, but folks with money to spend need a bit more incentive than just a trail of clever breadcrumbs, don’t you think?

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UPDATE: Jeff Sexton explains 3 Things Viral Videos Must Do to Make Money.

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Comments (8)

  1. yeh i see what your saying

    most successful viral videos are off topic… and probably a majority of them aren’t targetting the right people… and it definitely doesn’t drive people to take action

  2. Wonder what their conversion rate is on this campaign!

  3. you think they could’ve splurged and bought the .com? ugh. imagine the viewer: “I’ll go to that, and…what? This doesn’t look right!”

    i also like that when you get to the .net site, you’re required to download silverlight just to see their blog!

    Dave, we’re going to need a part II on this one ;)

  4. Maybe they should have started with a viral video to promote Silverlight. ;-)

    I hadn’t even noticed the whole .com vs .net issue. You are absolutely correct.

    In the comments at Geert’s “about me” page, he mentions the agency that created the film ( At face value, their minimalistic flash-driven site almost seems as pretentious and out of touch as the one in the film. They even made a chick-flick movie poster for the film. Where do you suppose that’s being placed?

    It makes me wonder if it is simply self-deprecating humor with a big budget.

  5. UPDATE: Jeff Sexton explains 3 Things Viral Videos Must Do to Make Money.


  6. I think the job of the viral is to drive traffic, that’s it. If you start explaining your point, it becomes an info-mercial. The website is supposed to be what you’re selling, and on the website, you should get what makes MS so awesome. (I agree, the website doesn’t do that) Not sure about the Inspiration anyone movie. I like the line about the blitzkreig, but it’s kind of all over the place and a little too nudge nudge wink wink. The first one is more clever.

  7. This happens to be almost the polar opposite of the iphone ad that Apple put out. I’m no apple fan mind you, but their marketing department sure has it together.

    My favorite line: “we dont need words, we got symbols”

  8. i think this is an non targeted viral video and i don’t think this will much increase their conversion rate the better marketing strategy is create video related to particular product which could easily remembered and that could be more effective.

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