According to Ad Age, Zune Arts was born more than two years ago as part of an alternative marketing effort by Microsoft that invited emerging artists to create online art around social themes to help launch the Zune digital music player.
But since then the website has morphed into an online haven for emerging artists and musicians. While still part of the Zune family of marketing initiatives and still touting the “sharing” themes, Zune Arts now has its own goals and audience in the indie arts community.
“The value of this service is that they help ensure people who like to discover things, discover your content where they want to,” said Glenn Cole, co-founder and creative director of 72andSunny. “To me, the mental image of what they do is that they’re like the guys who put the Easter Eggs out in the yard when they’re seven years old, and they do it really well. They could just put it out on the tree stump in the middle of the yard — and some clients want a giant egg out in the yard that no one can possibly miss — but I think [for other clients] the hiding makes their content feel more special when you finally find it.”
In a Wired feature from last December, advertising and design critic Warren Berger, said, “They’re creating pieces of art, content with viral potential, instead of just a 30-second commercial. It’s very smart, and a good way to go.”