How to launch a cool product: Marketing with silly videos

Making silly web videos to promote the launch of your product is all the rage at Microsoft these days, so of course the worldwide launch of Windows Live Hotmail, this week, also saw the launch of a self-described “viral” (see the url) ad campaign.

Upon the launch of Windows Live Hotmail, Microsoft decided to not automatically upgrade all of their current Hotmail users to the Windows Live version of the service, but rather to ease them into the upgrade by giving them the option of “going Live” at first.  Today we’re taking a look at one of the ways that Microsoft is trying to win over the current Hotmail users and get them to make the jump.

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This new ad campaign includes videos featuring characters such as the “Suspicious Male” and the “Hot Male” (Get it?  It’s a play on words!).  It’s intended to inform people currently using the old Hotmail of the new features of the Windows Live upgrade.  You already know that WL Hotmail has new features such as Drag and Drop and 2 gigs of storage, so I won’t bore you with the content of the ad.  This one is really targeted at the people who have not heard of WL Hotmail yet or are still undecided about the upgrade. 

The entry point for this campaign, for the time being, is through a link, inserted in Hotmail email signatures.  The hope is that people will see something they like and forward it on to their friends.  They even included a handy “Tell a Friend” button with each video. 

All joking aside, hopefully this campaign will convince some of the people who are still on the fence, or unaware, to upgrade to Windows Live.

Windows Live Hotmail “Viral” Ad Campaign