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Microsoft to pitch Windows 7 via home parties

Prince McLean, AppleInsider

Microsoft is promoting the release of Windows 7 by encouraging users to throw Tupperware-like house parties in celebration of the launch.

Microsoft to pitch Windows 7 via home parties
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The new campaign encourages participants to print out Windows 7 advertising banners for their home along with “host notes” outlining how to talk about Windows 7 in glowing terms. There’s even a question and answer pamphlet, of which the official launch party web site recommends, “download and print this fun activity to keep the party going!”

With the new security features in Windows 7, it’s unlikely the parties will get too carried away. Interestingly, the quiz pamphlet has nothing to do with Windows 7; it’s all trivia about Microsoft. One question asks, “Most of Microsoft employees are 29 years of age or younger…. FALSE. 16.8% are 29 or under, 45.0% are 30-39, and 38.2% are 40 and over.”

For users still unsure about how to host their friends over for an ad pitch, Microsoft has developed a series of videos that portray a wide demographic of people all demonstrating how to excitedly talk about Microsoft’s new software features.

In one spot, four model party hosts explain what users need to do to prepare to host a successful party “with Windows 7 as an honored guest.” First, they recommend that users need to install Windows 7 and play with it before hosting their party, calling customer service for support if necessary.

After that, launch party hosts can pick from a variety of fun, Windows 7 related activities created for their home launch event by Microsoft. Each activity has a video demonstration to follow in order to ensure a successful party.

Windows 7 Party… Winner

Microsoft sponsored a contest to sign up a “very limited” number of official launch party hosts, each of whom will receive a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate signed by Bill Gates, along with an undisclosed “Windows 7 Party Pack.”

This week, the company announced a list of “finalists” for potential parties. “Receiving the finalist email doesn’t mean you’ve been accepted to host just yet. You will need to be among the first to respond via a link within your email to be confirmed as a host,” wrote Microsoft’s Brandon LeBlanc in a blog posting on the party organizer site. “This extra step is needed due to the amazing response we’ve had from people interested in hosting a local Launch Party.”

Despite the limited number of official party organizers that Microsoft will ultimately award with free software, LeBlanc assured everyone else, “you can still hold a Windows 7 gathering of your own.”

Party on a budget

This spring, Microsoft launched a similar home party effort to sell its Xbox 360 gaming console to women. It awarded about a thousand women across the country a $150 “Xbox Party Pack” that included “microwaveable popcorn, the Xbox trivia game ‘Scene It? Box Office Smash,’ an Xbox universal media remote control, a three-month subscription to Xbox Live, and 1,600 Xbox Live points (used for game, movie and TV show purchases),” according to a report picked up by Silicon Alley insider.

The low budget party campaigns are a marked departure from the glitzy launch of Windows Vista, which spent millions on advertising but failed to achieve the desired result. The company has since spent $300 million on campaigns that ranged from the Mojave Experiment, which portrayed the problems of Windows Vista as being a big misunderstanding, to a short-lived set of ads that portrayed Bill Gates alongside Jerry Seinfeld, a series of spots reacting to Apple’s Get a Mac ads, and most recently ads that present PC buyers explaining that they’re not cool enough for an expensive Apple computer.

Microsoft has also ventured into criticism for low budget ads used in promoting its Songsmith title, and a commercial for Internet Explorer 8 that was considered so tasteless and offensive the company had it pulled.

  • EstebanDeLaSexface

    That OMGIGP ad is fucking genius, I laughed my arse off. I resolve to use the Private Browsing option on Ffox more often.
    Huh, Dean Cain got fat.

  • gus2000

    Oh kewl, I SOOOO want to crash one of these parties. Hang out, giggle about the “Mactards”, and then BAM “iPhone, sukkas! Apple FTW!”

  • Joe Sa

    Ummmm, yeah.

  • Brau

    Get Windows 7 and pass it around to your friends. Seems soo familiar. MicroSoft appears to be trying to play to the only product image they have … virus laden.

    And don’t forget, no MS party is complete without some BSOD (Blue Scones Of Death)

  • jdb

    Great spoof via Daring Fireball:

    http://www.cabel.name/2009/09/windows-7-party.html

  • luisd

    @jdb

    That link is hysterical! Good finding!

  • secondbassman

    What a laughable mess. Kinda reminds me of the old Spindler-iffic Performa infomercials from the 90’s, except those were at least mildly entertaining.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=khc3XLkbxMU

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  • pa

    How on earth do corporations take this company seriously is beyond me. And they bend over backward to put up with its products’ shortcomings.

  • iLogic

    In my opinion, this marketing ad is distasteful. It would be 10x cooler to take the lead in throwing your own party and then having people join in through Windows 7 on monitors all over your launch party. I’m not in marketing but I do believe that it would get old quickly no matter how you splice it.

    The Bill Gates autograph is tempting, just on the fact that you would capture technological history.

  • XMD

    I had goose bumps watching it and had to skip through it. Mr. Ballmer needs to take a trip to Tennessee to get a brain transplant. It shouldn’t take too long to line up for one because he clearly is the one who needs it most.

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    Get Windows 7 and pass it around to your friends.

    It sounds like you are talking about a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).

    Seems soo familiar. MicroSoft appears to be trying to play to the only product image they have … virus laden.

    Okay, so it’s not a sexually transmitted disease. In fact, my guess is that anyone who would want to hold one of these parties, probably isn’t capable of procreating, because they don’t have any interest in sex.

  • warlock7

    OMGoodness. The over-exaggerated “handy-cam without visual stabilization” feel is almost as nauseating as the user experience of Windows 7… how awkwardly appropriate.

  • http://crankyoldnutcase.blogspot.com/ The Mad Hatter

    I like the latest video of how to do a Windows Vista Seven Party. It’s hilarious.

  • enzos

    Charlie Brooker goes to town..
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/sep/28/charlie-brooker-microsoft-mac-windows
    >Until now. Microsoft, hellbent on tackling the conspicuous lack of word-of-mouth recommendation, is encouraging people – real people – to host “Windows 7 launch parties” to celebrate the 22 October release of, er, Windows 7. The idea is that you invite a group of friends – your real friends – to your home – your real home – and entertain them with a series of Windows 7 tutorials. So you show them how to burn a CD, how to make a little video, how to change the wallpaper, and how to, oh no, hang on it’s not supposed to do that, oh, I think it’s frozen, um, er, let me just, um, no that’s not it, um, er, um, er, so how’s it going with you and Kathy anyway, um, er, OK well see you around I guess.
    To assist the party-hosting massive, they’ve also uploaded a series of spectacularly cringeworthy videos to YouTube, in which the four most desperate actors in the world stand around in a kitchen sharing tips on how best to indoctrinate guests in the wonder of Windows. If they were staring straight down the lens reading hints off a card it might be acceptable; instead they have been instructed to pretend to be friends. The result is the most nauseating display of artificial camaraderie since the horrific Doritos “Friendchips” TV campaign (which caused 50,000 people to kill themselves in 2003, or should have done).
    It’s so terrible, it induces an entirely new emotion: a blend of vertigo, disgust, anger and embarrassment which I like to call “shitasmia”. It not only creates this emotion: it defines it. It’s the most shitasmic cultural artefact in history. Watch it for yourself.