at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Who Cares That They Have Seinfeld…The Story is Gates.

In advertising, Brands, communications, Consumers, marketing, strategy on September 8, 2008 at 2:34 pm

The Interweb is abuzz about the new Jerry Seinfeld Microsoft ads.  Crispin has been working on these for awhile and there was much talk about how odd of a choice Jerry Seinfeld was and how it simply showed that they were are out touch as a company. Having worked with them for a couple of years I’ll say that to criticize Jerry Seinfeld is missing the point entirely.

The spots to date aren’t about Seinfeld, they are about Gates.  To me they are working to humanize Gates, Microsoft and deflect the goliath label they have been afixed with. All while pointing out that the future may well be created by those who have brought us here to date.  Yes Google has done some amazing stuff in a short period of time, but if we look at what Microsoft has pioneered it’s pretty incredible.

Mojave Experiment Exploits Focus Groups

In Uncategorized on July 30, 2008 at 11:48 am

Let’s start with the main point of this here post. Product testing in focus groups is almost inevitably a sham. And frankly, you can watch this viral piece from Microsoft and you’ll see it play out almost frame by frame.

First, you recruit some consumers off a panel that is owned by the facility or market research firm. These consumers have given themselves up to the facilities and admitted that they are willing to come in and sell themselves and their opinions by the hour. Unlike isolated recruiting where you get “regular folks” here you get focus group folks pretending to be regular folk.

They start a group by disparaging the existing product, especially if they are recruited as rejectors or have an inbuilt dislike for the brand/product.

Then, wait for it, they are presented with an alternative. All the sudden they LOVE the alternative. It’s new, fresh, innovative! Clients wet themselves, moderator gets complimented for doing such a nice job, respondent gets 125 bucks and moves on to the next group knowing that they will be invited back because they just made everyone very happy. That person gets a little gold star in the database and makes more money in the future.

See, and that’s the rub, they have a built in reward for pleasing those people who have invited them to come.

The only real way that I have found to break through this routine (and it is a routine) is to ask respondents what they would pay for said product. When they name a price say, “great, I have a few of them back here let me get one for you!” That is generally greeted with a lot of silence and then excuses because it’s not part of the routine. You’ve called their bluff and now you can get down to the real facts about the product and how they correspond with someone’s pocketbook.

That said, the focus group is still dead to me.

Mojave Experiment in Focus Groups:

And That’s Why They Call It AdWeak

In Uncategorized on February 28, 2008 at 3:11 pm

monkey men

Originally uploaded by Krakitt

It seems like everyone from Agency Spy to Gawker is announcing Crispin’s win of the Microsoft business. A coup for sure but why aren’t the industry rags jumping on the bandwagon already? Do they know something that we don’t or are they just slow to the party? If it’s the latter someone should go ahead and tell them the party has moved and they aren’t invited.