söndag 7 november 2010

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 Ads Need More Oomph

A Windows Phone 7 ad is drifting around the Intertubes, highlighting the much-rumored HTC Mondrian:

If this is legit (and I see no reason why not), the 30-second spot feels very "safe." Why waste your life pecking away at some rival device, it suggests, when you can save time and effort with Windows Phone 7's streamlined interface?

Here's another alleged TV spot drifting around, with what seems like unfinished editing:

Again with the same theme: Windows Phone 7 lets you spend time living, instead of staring at your capacitive touch screen. And I'm not entirely sure that'll resonate: The true smartphone addicts stay glued to their devices because they're on Level 28 of "Angry Birds" and will keep bashing away at the controls until they win, damnit. Or else they're watching a movie. Or posting something on Facebook they'll regret come morning.

The point is, a lot of people want to interact with their new, shiny smartphones--and I'm not sure arguing the contrary is the best way for Microsoft to market its own device, no matter how sleek the ads' production values.

In a Sept. 28 interview published in The Seattle Times, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer evinced his usual stream-of-consciousness enthusiasm for Windows Phone 7's market prospects:

You put aside the questions of how you make money and blah, blah, blah. That's all interesting in the long run. In the short run (claps his hands and rubs them together), people gotta want these phones. I think they're going to look pretty good. ... If we start the popularity chain and start the kind of buzz around these things, we'll be able to make some money off them.

Ballmer also autopsied Microsoft's Kin phones, which crashed and burned in the marketplace earlier this year:

The No. 1 message from Kin is a message of focus. You only get so many things you can really talk about, communicate, work on with the consumer. You've got to be bold, you've got to look forward and you've got to stay focused. Kin was neither --with 20-20 hindsight -- bold enough relative to where the market's going, and it just defocused activity from Windows Phone.

Ballmer made no mention of Verizon's data-plan pricing for the Kin phones, which was arguably too high for social-networking devices aimed at teenagers. Then again, he probably doesn't want to antagonize a carrier on the verge of Windows Phone 7's rollout--never mind that Verizon and other CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) carriers won't offer the devices until sometime in 2011.

Before that point, of course, we'll see the full scope of Microsoft's massive Windows Phone 7 ad campaign--and whether the company chooses to be more aggressive/creative.


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