Microsoft Store Dance Video Not A Viral Effort


So by now you've seen the video of Microsoft Store employees breaking into "spontaneous" dance in their new Mission Viejo store, right? If not, watch it here and then come back.

OK? Was that the most horrifically forced thing you've ever witnessed? Not that this is news or anything. After all, everything Microsoft does is forced, unnatural and desperate. What's news is the fact the video has been labeled a viral stunt.

Writing on Subtle Persuasions, Brad Slavin, who recorded the video, shares the story of his Microsoft store experience, how inviting he found the place and how he was there to capture the video when the employees broke out into line dance.

OK. Did you read the entire post? Do you feel like you just read a product brochure? Is it any surprise the domain was dormant until just a short time ago? Is any surprise Brad Slavin is the Chief Conversion Officer at "search engine optimization and conversion ratio maximization" company WebHEAT?

OK. Do you think you know what conclusion we're going to draw here? Well, you'd be wrong if you thought we were going to lash out at Brad and call him a corporate shill as hundreds of commenters have on the numerous blogs and sites on which this story has unfolded.

In a call with Slavin, he denies working for Microsoft or that he had any part in any kind of viral marketing stunt. He claims to have been in the store 45 minutes before the dance occurred, saw the employees line up for it and had plenty of time to get his camera ready to record the dance.

Last week, Apple Insider's Prince McLean wrote, "In a cost effective effort to draw attention to the new Mission Viejo Microsoft Store, a new viral ad campaign is gushing about fun retail employees who start spontaneously line dancing to the Black Eyed Peas."

Continuing with, "After two months of a few fake posts highlighting such professional milestones as the blogger's first "Facebook FML," McLean is clearly in the viral ad campaign camp.

We know this screams poorly executed viral and we'd be the first to label it as such. But we fact checked (we know, can you believe it?) and can only report Slavin claims he was just a shopper who happened to be there when the dance occurred. He uploaded it. Lots of people thought it was a plant and the story spiraled from there.

It might just be as simple as that.

However, none of this changes the fact Microsoft, no matter how hard they try, will never be Apple. Regardless of market share, Apple will always be the cooler brand and there's really nothing Microsoft can do to change that.

by Steve Hall    Nov-23-09   Click to Comment   
Topic: Opinion, Social, Viral