Archive for the ‘microsoft’ Category

I’m a PC and I admire CPB

September 19, 2008

I’ve never seen so much talking about Microsoft. Actually, after almost 3 years at Microsoft I never talked so much about Microsoft myself… This is maybe the reason why I don’t receive comments on my blog anymore :). CPB managed amazingly to put Microsoft at the center of the conversations. First with the Seinfeld/Bill Gates series and now with the “PC pride” (aka Life without walls).

Of course, Microsoft won’t become the coolest brand in the world overnight (see this post).

Yesterday evening I tried to explain to my son the concepts of reason and passion and the strange relations between those two concepts. And the PC/Mac dichotomy is much more about passion than about reason. I really like this quote on youtube by a user called prmd142 who wrote: “Get over it people…. buy only Apple products… Apple will eradicate poverty from the world… it’ll bring peace & prosperity to everyone… Steve Jobs is God’s messanger…. He alone can lead you to salvation… amen! “. Prmd meant this as a joke of course but I’m pretty sure it’s the state of mind of a lot a Mac users who really believe that, for some reasons, Apple is not truly a capitalist company.

I’m not a Mac. I’m a PC and I practice brazilian Jiu Jitsu, I’m a PC and I don’t shave every day, I’m a PC and I thank you for reading this post.

A campaign about nothing

September 12, 2008

Chapter 2 is online. Jerry and Bill are already back for the second episode of the Seinfeld-Microsoft saga. This time it’s a 4.30 minutes episode and it’s even more seinfeldish than the previous one.

Episode 2 will be even more praised and hated than Episode 1 and that’s OK.

I had a good laugh, I hope you will

Edit: I like what Dion Hughes wrote about the campaign after the first episode:

 Everyone is piling on. When was the last time this many people had anything to say, positive or negative, about a Microsoft communication?

read Dion’s full post

Back to the very basic: the banner

September 12, 2008

I received from IIR Middle east 2 banners (1 gif and 1 jpeg) to promote the New Media Event. I don’t think I have ever written something about banners. Few bloggers do. Writing something constructive on the classical banner format might seem almost indecent nowadays. Performance deals represent more than 50% of the american internet revenues and conversational marketing is the only way to go according to the blogosphere.

But according to PriceWaterhouseCoopers: 45% of the total internet revenues are still CPM revenues (US data 2007). A large part of those revenues still come from “classical” banners (read non-rich media)

Of course, the Click-Through Rates are not what they used to be but that’s rather a good news than a bad news for display advertising. So… even if the banner is not hyped up, it’s still out there.

Early august, the dutch website marketingonline.nl published a list of best practice advices released by Microsoft Advertising Netherlands and Metrixlab. The best practice has been determined by impact studies among surfers. The criteria’s to determine the impact were memorization, attention, appreciation and the classical campaign metrics (delta on brand awareness and purchase intent).

Based on that research, here are some best practices I found interesting:

  • bigger formats have more impact
  • Logo and brand receive more attention if they are not permenantly present
  • Avoid multiple loops in your animated banners
  • Banners with people on it score better
  • Interaction possibility influences purchase intent and likeability
  • the “click here”-mention has a negative effect

Is the New Media Event a best practice case? Hmm, not sure but the event will rock!

Am I a Saturn ring brain?

September 7, 2008

I might be the biggest non-american Seinfeld (and Larry David) fan alive and I was extremely happy to hear recently that Seinfeld had been chosen to defend the image of Microsoft.

Here is the first and already controversial Seinfeld/Microsoft video. The Youtube statistics are impressive. The rating is average and there are some critics on the ad. but that’s probably partially because people like to hate Microsoft. I can already tell you that it’s gonna be less popular in Europe than in the US. Personally, I’m happy to see Microsoft going in that direction and see a Microsoft advertising where you don’t hear the word “technology”  

Also read this great analysis by Noah Brier (link found thanks to Geert)

Ola bem dia

July 9, 2007

I’m in Lisbon today for the Microsoft Digital Advertising Solution sales kick off 2008. After the usual loud R’n’B music, the “Wow, look at this”, the “Make some noise to show how much fun you’ll have”, the “give yourself a big round of applaus” and a few “that’s a FANTASTIC achievement”, we had a short opening by Marc Bresseel and a 45 minutes speech by Chris Dobson, our sales VP. I won’t (and I guess, I may not) go into the details of what have been said this morning but on statement of Chris Dobson’s presentation caught my attention: “Internet doesn’t change people behaviour (…) technology change, not behaviours

This is an interesting statement but I still haven’t figure out if I agree with that. We may tend to exagerate the impact of internet on what we are but I think that some of our behaviours are the result of our internet experience. We have friends we have never seen, we are expecting brands to listen, we want to consume media on demand, we don’t perceive advertising as we used to do, we participate, we contribute, we share, we aggregate, we syndicate and we engage. Is that enough to call that a major behaviour change? And what kind of users are impacted?

I would love to read your opinions about this.

I’ll do better next time

July 4, 2007

time-flies-clock-10-11-2006.gif

As usual, I spent my evening thinking about the weakest aspects of my presentation and how I’ve could done better. I’m a little disappointed by my explanations on scale-free networks and I make plans on how I will rebuild the speech with more subtleties next time.

But overall, I’m happy about last night. I think (I hope) I wasn’t ridiculous in front of all the beautiful minds and brains of the audience and that my presentation had a few thought-provoking moments.

To illustrate Microsoft belief in real life-networks, I used a quote of Francis Bacon (I initially believed it was the painter but it’s the philosopher) who once wrote “Friends are thieves of time”. I wish I had spent more time with my fellow bloggers last night: Luc, Pascal, Caroline,… and I regret I hardly or didn’t had the opportunity to chat with Maarten, Dominique (who posted a great piece of feedback), Valérie, Steven, Pieter, Tanguy, Bert, and many others. I also realized we just forgot to invite some major bloggers like for instance, Robin (our blogger database needs serious improvements). Hopefully, we’ll have new conversation opportunities real soon.

The permanent revolution

July 3, 2007

I just created my account on slideshare. In around 30 minutes, I will present the slideshow below at the second Microsoft Belgium circle of media where we gathered journalists and key Belgian bloggers. Most of the slides aren’t self-explanatory but I trust your interpreation and imagination power 🙂

As told previously, it’s my first presentation to an audience made of experts. I’ll tell you in my next post how it went.

Virtuous circles (of media)

July 1, 2007

I decided to call my new presentation “the permanent revolution”. It’s probably already a cliché and it’s something we’re all very excited about. It’s even a condition for our marketing blogs to survive. We need change and innovation to feed our blogs. I’m not sure that advertisers are always as excited as we are. Our message often remains: Incredible things are happening now but you ain’t seen nothing yet! Some advertisers tend to wait the next big thing, maybe thinking that after that, the innovation pace will slow down a little… but it won’t.

Where will the permanent revolution lead us? IMHO, the web is a matter of virtuous circles. The major trend is more and more integration of the services and the gadget mashups we see poping up everywhere today are the biggest sign of what the web will become. I already mentionned photosynth that could lead to the first real-virtual world (a giant mashup of flickr and second life). Like Marc Bresseel explained at the IAB Interact forum, Photosynth is the result of a virtuous circle made of Simplified authoring, improved search and improved metadata. If this product is marketed properly, it simply could change the way we are experiencing the web.

The “première” of my presentation will be tuesday at the “circle of media”, where Microsoft invited a lot of journalists and a bunch a very bright Belgian bloggers. It’s the first time I will talk about our media to a very informed audience… Wish me luck. 

There goes my job

May 24, 2007

It’s official, there is no more media strategist at Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions Belgium. It was a hybrid job somewhere between sales, consultancy and evangelism and it was sometimes tough to find a place between media and creative agencies who are claiming the same missions.  This was my first B2B experience in the web (after 6 years in content) and I can’t believe how much I learned.

The disappearance of the function also indicates that we will less and less explain to the advertisers why they should communicate online and how they should do it. The market gained maturity and I guess most of them know it.. We also have the chance is Belgium to have very high profiles in our sales team. My appointment as a media strategist 9 months ago pushed me to make a lot of research and eventually to blog again. Through many meetings with advertisers and agencies, many conversations, tons of questions and many objections, I gained a more holistic view on new media. Even if, the more I learn, the more I find out the complexity of the internet and the advertising equations.

So, what am I going to do now?

Something new and something very nice, still at Microsoft, combining the most interesting aspects of my media strategist function (research, customer insights, meetings with agencies and advertisers) and a more strategic dimension. I’m very excited about it, this is the start of many new learnings and actions and I’ll need the blogosphere more than ever.

Bring the love back: What’s next?

May 18, 2007

It’s maybe too soon to do the aftermath of the Bring the love back action but I thought that 10.000 views on dailymotion was a good opportunity to talk about this case.

I won’t make a recap of the full genesis of the project (everything is on bringtheloveback.com). Geert, who carried the project from start to end also initiated the viral aspect of the campaign. Geert received the video wednesday at 7.30 PM CET and posted it immediatly on dailymotion and the movie was embedded on the bringtheloveback blog.

The first thing we did after the posting of the video was to send a mail to a limited number of contacts (about 15) of the blogosphere. Not only class-A bloggers but only good bloggers (some of them, despite an excellent blog have an authority 1 on technorati). The rule wasn’t their power of influence but the fact we had a real relation with them (I already have had online discussion or a mail discussions with all bloggers in my list).

For that kind of action, I guess you need a little piece of luck. In my blog post, I wrote that I was hoping that David Armano (who wasn’t in our short mailing list) would like the video. David is obviously a king of monitoring and reacted immediatly in my comments, posted the video on L+E and twittered about it. This was the real start of the virality. Thanks to David, the video was taken over by major blogs like Jaffejuice, Beyond Madison Avenue, futurelab, marketingfacts, successcreeations, whatsnext, servant of chaos and many others. Other major bloggers like CK, Craphammer or Technomarketer helped us big time.

But is it really a success? For the figures, I have not enough benchmarks in B2B viral actions and, honestly, I don’t really care and I don’t believe it’s a metric of success.

I care about the many conversations that are happening on all the blogs, the friendly confrontations between the enthusiasts, the surprised ones, the sceptics and the Microsoft-haters.

I care about what will happen next: How will we (Microsoft international) build on this, change our image, fullfil the promises, continue the conversation, draw and share conclusions.

Bringthelove back is allmost a one-man project. Geert worked on this with vision, method, creativity, guts and belief and managed to transform our Microsoft Belgium positioning in a worldwide conversation on advertising and the place of Microsoft in the online advertising landscape. Thumbs up, my friend!

Conversation economy: The movie

May 16, 2007

A while ago, I had lunch with Geert, our Belgian trade marketing guru and he explained me an ambitious project he developed together with Stef Selfslagh, from Openhere: Here’s the result:

The conversation economy already had its emblematic article, it now have its viral video. I hope David Armano will like it 🙂

All she wants is genuine affection

May 9, 2007

microsoftsmall.jpg

Bring the love back, the movie… can’t wait to show you this one. You’ll find everything you want to know about this global conversation superproduction on bringtheloveback.com

Kudos distribution

April 22, 2007

I wanted to put two of my Microsoft Belgium colleagues in the spotlight:

Geert initiated a TV spot that could become a viral hit and have international echoes. Of course, I hate Geert since he spent 4 days with a gorgeous actress in Hollywood while I was filling in excell sheets in Brussels 😉 Anyway, visit the making of blog. I really can’t wait to see the final result and I’m convinced this will be a huge success.

– Geert and Kris (happy birthday, by the way) were chosen by Gavin Heaton and Drew mcLellan to be among the 100 authors of an ebook called “the age of conversation