Microsoft’s Different Drummer

The New York Times explores Microsoft’s attempt to “go viral” with its new operating system, Vista.

Marketers are turning to unusual, often little-known personalities who offer the kind of novelty and freshness that young people might blog about, link to and comment on in chats: in other words, make viral on the Internet.
Demetri Martin is not exactly a household name. And that’s exactly the point, said Tommy Means, co-founder of Mekanism, the San Francisco agency hired to create a campaign aimed at the 18- to 30-year-olds who populate online communities.
Along with Microsoft’s ad agency, McCann Erickson, a unit of the Interpublic Group, Mr. Martin and Mekanism developed a Web site ( that offers a series of “webisodes” from Martin.
Microsoft liked Mr. Martin’s in-the-know humor, but was also drawn to his built-in digital audience. His page on lists more than 80,000 friends.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.