Someone who is good at marketingDisclaimer: Although I work for Microsoft, I don’t have to always agree with what other parts of the company are doing. 

Okay.. proper disclaimer out of the way. Now…

“Uh oh.. you gonna get yourself fired, Kevin?”

Well.. if a person can get fired from a company for what I’m about to say, then I didn’t want to work for that company anyway.

Here’s the thing.  When I first saw Microsoft’s “To the cloud!” commercials, I liked them.  I thought they were cute.  And I always like seeing us spend more money on getting the word about about the amazing things we do and products we offer.  For too long we’ve kept too quiet on too many things, so I love it (both as an employee and as a stockholder) that we’re finally finding our voice.  But…

“Here it comes.”To the cloud!

…after talking to many people about them, I think that those commercials are just causing more confusion than anything else.  If people have to ask me, “Hey Kevin.. what are those commercials really about?”, then apparently we missed some mark somewhere.  And these people were other IT Pros!  My mother-in-law certainly doesn’t understand it.  (No offense, Mom.  But let’s be real… My Wife, let alone her Mother, doesn’t read this blog.)

Now…  I still think that, knowing what I do about the products showcased (like the Windows LIve Photo Gallery example below), I do love that we’re promoting it.  But I just wish we had done it in a way that doesn’t confuse the ordinary person.

“But.. isn’t it all about awareness?”

Bingo.  It is.  As I understand it (and if you’re in Microsoft Marketing, please set me straight if I’m wrong), even if people never cared about what “the cloud” was before.. now they have it in their heads that it’s something important.  And they learn that Microsoft has free tools that use it.  And if they at least recognize that, then perhaps they’ll investigate further.  And if they investigate further, then maybe when they (or their kids) go to college they’ll consider going into Computer Science and know in the back of their brains that Microsoft = “the cloud”.   And eventually they can have a cool job like Kevin does.

Okay… Maybe that’s just my theory, but I’m going with that.  Obviously there is a reason I’m not in Marketing.

Just for extra-credit fun, check out what the web-tubes are saying about the commercials:

http://www.bing.com/search?q=to+the+cloud+commercials&src=IE-SearchBox&FORM=IE8SRC

Offended yet?  Then perhaps you’ll enjoy  part 6 tomorrow.  You won’t want to PAAS it up.  Get it?

“Got it.”

Good.