Microsoft’s “Brandon Generator” is Close, but No Cigar

Post-advertising is based on brands genuinely adding value to consumers’ lives by generously giving them valuable content. By providing rewarding experiences, brands earn the right to expose consumers to their products and services. At its core, post-advertising is about creating an audience around relevant content and then migrating that audience to relevant products and services.

Microsoft’s crowd-sourced, animated graphic novel, Brandon Generator, a stylish, Sin City type animation in which the audience helps shape the protagonist’s world, would seem to meet this definition.


In the Hands of the Masses: 5 Killer Crowdsourced Advertising Campaigns

As post-advertisers, we spend most of our lives coming up with ways to tell brand stories. So much time is spent thinking, brainstorming and discussing that we spend every ounce of gray matter our brains can spit out (some have more than others) in the hopes that our clients and their customers will see the genius in what we've done. And while our dogs bark at us like strangers when we come home after 12 straight days of work and our kids refer to us as "that guy in all the photos who brings us presents on our birthdays and gives mommy naughty back rubs," we truly feel the effort we put out is worth it.


Google Rewards Real Storytellers

This post originally appeared in our March issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

Google has finally rewarded those steadfast providers of valuable, high-quality content over purveyors of drek. In the main objective of their recent search algorithm revamp codenamed Farmer, Google has yanked republishers, editorial mills, aggregators, and other wholesale sources of otherwise weak, unorganized content (such as Associated Content and Mahalo, to name two of the most egregious offenders) off their high-ranking perches and slashed their search results by adhering to a new system that attempts to account for actual editorial quality. Adhering to a standard of perceived quality means that news outlets, brands and other publishers of notably engaging stories are finally gaining the additional recognition they deserve. But what of the grey area—the in-between web listings that don’t deserve to be demoted? Will those harmless do-gooders potentially be misplaced, orphaned by Google’s iron hammer? One thing’s for sure: Great content wins—especially when a system exists to recognize it as such.


Double Rainbow Guy Sells Out (what does it mean?)

The Double Rainbow Guy, aka Paul “Hungrybear9562” Vasquez, has officially sold out to Microsoft for a commercial spotlighting their Windows Live Photo Gallery. And while it’s great that Vasquez has finally monetized on the immense popularity of his YouTube video… what does it mean?
I am a PC ad

Latest Iteration of Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s Ads for Microsoft Are…I Just Don’t Care

The whole ad industry has gotten its panties in a twist over the $300 million Crispin Porter + Bogusky Microsoft ad campaign. There has been a lot of discussion, a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking, and a lot of incorrect assumptions. I want to go over the facts of the matter here, but I'll save it for next week. For now, let's just go over the latest iteration,, a supposedly user-generated site with "I'm a PC" testimonials. My initial thought here is that if MS wants to combat the John Hodgman-as-PC image, it shouldn't try to drown out Hodgman/Apple with a chorus of nobodies but instead create a strong character of its own. I like Pharrel Williams, but he just doesn't cut it here...and what was that philosophical tangent about the future of technology all about? Where does that celebrity confidence to talk about complicated issues they know little about inarticulately come from?

Microsoft Is the Glue, Not the Cool

The Seinfeld ads for Microsoft were unbearably counterproductive, and the relief at Jerry’s absence in what MS execs are calling "phase 2" has been palpable throughout the ad world. We were all so pleased to say goodbye to the Jerry & Bill Show that I fear it has caused us to be far too welcoming to the "I'm a PC" ads that have followed.
Everyone is a PC

Everyone’s a PC

It's not the flashiest, cleverest ad, and it's interruptive and not at all entertaining, but I really like what Crispin Porter + Bogusky is doing with what everyone is calling Phase II of the $300-million Microsoft campaign. No more Jerry Seinfeld. Just a healthy dose of Foucaudian reverse discourse. Roll tape:
Bill Gates Microsoft Ad

Seinfeld Takes Microsoft in a Weird Direction

I like this new direction from Microsoft/agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky. Bogusky's scam—and it's a good one—is applied tastefully to the Microsoft marketing problem: MS is not as cool as Apple. Unfortunately, the real problem for MS is that Vista is not easy to use, save with much expert help, and MS Office 2007 is basically an insult to IT people and consumers. But with the marketing, I think we're making progress. The Bogusky scam? Humanness. We had the Whopper Freakout scam where BK fanatics freaked out on camera (below). We had the Coke Zero scam where Coca-Cola "employees" (they were actors) approached various lawyers about suing Coke Zero (also below). All good scams. I like this one better.