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Microsoft's OOXML Viral Marketing Reaches YouTube

The Microsoft Propaganda Machine is quietly hard at work. A few days ago, Microsoft seems to have started throwing some of its infamous marketing videos onto YouTube. TechCrunch covered this 'brilliant' idea 5 weeks ago.

The more interesting aspect is that Microsoft would use the Google owned YouTube for such as promotion; it certainly demonstrates just how powerful the market position of YouTube has become over the last 2 years that Microsoft would use it to promote their products.


OOXML is part of this new charade. Microsoft is doing most of this deliberately and, as you can see, some of the recently-added OOXML-tagged or OOXML-tied videos are from Channel 9 (it couldn't be more transparent than that). There is a similar brainwash campaign which involves the Silverlight lock-in, but that's another story (I'm leaving strong comments on those viral YouTube videos, but then faced with what seems like corporate shills who immediately reply).

The only new videos that stand out in the cited page a couple of Pieter's, including this one.



On a couple of occasions in the past we explained how Microsoft games (and even spams) search engines with promotional material. It's especially Google whose results Microsoft subverts and it's a shame that Google's YouTube is becoming subjected to the same treatment.

Other examples of viral marketing from Microsoft include:

[Viral Microsoft Site:] August 22nd 2007 - Wassup?

A strange web site entitled 'Site of Champions' has appeared with Microsoft's viral PR fingerprints all over it, together with plentiful references to August 22nd 2007.


[Viral Microsoft Site:] WhatsWrongWithU

The site is targetted to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea, with an abrasive attempt at in your face attitude. However, one has to wonder if the whole thing will come off as more than a little insulting.


Viral Marketing Leads to Mock Gunfight

The latest in a series of attempts around the world to mimic the segment that, according to media analysts, amounts to free "viral advertising" for Microsoft Corp.

The latest incident took place on Tuesday in the cafeteria at South Carleton High School when a crowd of students shot finger guns at one another and feigned death by either falling or slumping to the ground.


We showed this video here.

Halo 3 viral marketing begins, countdowns and flyers galore

reports that the campaign officially began this past weekend, with the distribution of flyers in New York City and London, bearing the apparent logo of the campaign, and the message "We are not alone." At the moment, it's unknown who's behind the campaign, although the absence of the term "Alternate Reality Game" might indicate that it's not 42 Entertainment, the viral veterans behind Halo 2's ilovebees campaign.


Those Microsoft Vista ads are really bizarre

I know that Martin is a spokesman for the product, and he even starred in some of the spots, but they were very confusing and offputting, especially if you tuned into the special halfway through and didn't hear anything about Microsoft Vista.

Actually, the whole idea behind the ads makes me think someone at the ad agency or Microsoft is a Lost fan. The old guy in charge of an odd secret organizations (The Institute For Advanced Personhood), telling you to go to a site that will help you get rid of your clutter, the retro look of the spots, the use of old footage and computers. Very Hanso-ish, very viral. But I wonder if they're too odd to be successful?


Whatever Happened To The Origami?

Ultimately Origami is a classic example of how a viral buzz can work against a product release. Expectations were too high and the final product was puzzling and didn't fulfill any specific consumer demand. By the time the systems were actually released the hype had died down and there was practically zero consumer awareness. I've actually considered the possibility that the viral Origami campaign was a warm-up for the Zune campaign that followed later in the summer.


YouTube has removed this (Microsoft Project origami) viral marketing video from Microsoft. It states:

"This video has been removed due to terms of use violation."

Microsoft's mystery game is Vista promo

A mysterious online countdown. USB drives containing cipher keys. Notes and videos from a woman who calls herself Loki. Bloggers' reports of extravagant gifts, marked with a return address for Microsoft's headquarters.

And all trails leading to a Web site for something called Vanishing Point.

After weeks of sifting through clues, bloggers, gamers and technology enthusiasts got some relief this week when Microsoft Corp. revealed that Vanishing Point is part of a viral-marketing campaign for Vista, the new PC operating system set for a consumer launch later this month.


The comprehensive article, "List of fictitious company names used by Microsoft", was mysteriously removed from Wikipedia.

This image from Wikia is just a joke, but you probably get the point.

Also from Wikipedia (dynamic content): Notable examples of viral marketing

# ilovebees.com - viral marketing for Halo 2 # Hotmail, promoted largely by links at the bottoms of emails sent by its users, is the classic viral marketing example # Microsoft's Origami Project campaign # Microsoft's Xbox 360 campaign, called OurColony


Has Demetri Martin Jumped the Shark by Getting Into Bed with Microsoft? Clarification on 'Clearification' Marketing Campaign

When I first saw the Clearification website, I just thought it was Demetri's new project. But I did wonder why the videos were of such high production value. Turns out that Microsoft is footing the bill to not only this site, but are also underwritting his current tour.


Stop Digital Amnesia: 'Quattro' Home Server viral campaign?

Another day, another Microsoft viral campaign. This time, The fake Center for Digital Amnesia Awareness has launched an online campaign called "Stop Digital Amnesia" (via Furrygoat) - a medical-like project discussing the problems and solution for a made-up disorder called "digital amnesia".


Clearification just got a whole lot clearer

It's been nearly two weeks since I first reported about Microsoft's viral marketing campaign for Windows Vista called Clearification. Back then, the relationship between the campaign and Windows Vista was extremely vague and confusing. But now, Clearification has just posted the second installment of the "Demetri Martin finds Clearification" videos. Everything is clearer now.


For more information, see the "Evangelism is WAR!" memos from Microsoft.

Other companies do this too, by the way, but not quite so regularly. Recent articles include:

Intel goes in for viral marketing

Why spend a fortune on conventional advertising when you can do it by the back door.


FTC Moves to Unmask Word-of-Mouth Marketing

The Federal Trade Commission yesterday said that companies engaging in word-of-mouth marketing, in which people are compensated to promote products to their peers, must disclose those relationships.

[...]

Word-of-mouth marketing can take any form of peer-to-peer communication, such as a post on a Web blog, a MySpace.com page for a movie character, or the comments of a stranger on a bus.

As the practice has taken hold over the past several years, however, some advocacy groups have questioned whether marketers are using such tactics to dupe consumers into believing they are getting unbiased information.


Bloggers must disclose sponsored posts

A company that helps advertisers connect with bloggers willing to write about their products for payment will now require disclosures amid criticism and a regulatory threat.


Corporate Propaganda Still On the News: Study Finds Local Stations Overwhelmingly Fail to Disclose VNRs

A new study by the Center for Media and Democracy says Americans are still being shown corporate public relations videos disguised as news reports on newscasts across the country.


The information that we have out there has sunk to a level of corporate prostitution and the sad thing is that Microsoft ruins even good things like YouTube in the process. Even 'social' networks (or so-called community sites) Microsoft simply cannot let be.

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