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 head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.