Feeds

The Economist de-rails Microsoft media love in

Content or Diss content?

Top three mobile application threats

MIX07 It could have been so different.

Thinkers and creatives from publishing and advertising – Coke, The Economist and others - met for a Microsoft MIX07 panel, to debate and generally conclude that technology is a great way for reaching consumers.

After two days of Microsoft extolling the joys of convergence and multimedia content that’s delivered through Windows PCs, mobile devices, websites and the Xbox community, it was to be the frosting on Microsoft's new media cake.

But no-one had handed Andrew Rashbass the script.

Rashbass, chief information officer at The Economist, exhibited some criminally heretical views in front of a web and content developer audience assembled at Microsoft's Las Vegas Mecca. Chiefly:

  • That the best way to reach consumers is through technology that’s “under the covers” not the kinds of “technologies that have been talked about here.” Oops.
  • Compelling content, not technology, will help brands attract consumers.
  • Great content is in short supply
  • Contrary to the Web 2.0 hive mindset, companies do try to retain control of brands.
  • Converging content and advertising cheats and can misinform consumers.

The panel was an object lesson for marketing departments everywhere: in "conversations" can't be controlled and shoot off in unwanted directions.

The "Is marketing dead?" panel spun of the rails almost as soon as it left the station. Robbie Bach, Microsoft's president for entertainment and devices, had seized the stage, speaking of “advergaming” with Xbox games produced in co-operation with Burger King featuring the junk food giant’s mascot in a series of cheesy scenarios and that sold 3.2m copies in six weeks. And there are the 60 advertisers placing banners in real time through Xbox Live versions of Major League Baseball.

"We are engaging people, we are getting them to be interactive, and getting them to be social," Bach proclaimed, before passing the baton to Gayle Troberman, panel chair and Microsoft general manager for global brand entertainment.

Over to you, Rashbass: "It's kind of funny to hear Robbie Bach giving a talk on advertising and monetization when he just lost $300m in the last quarter." Oh dear.

"It's difficult to engage consumers. Robbie can show a few examples but the examples he doesn't show are the thousands of examples that don't engage consumers. Technology doesn't engage consumers," Andrew told fellow panelists.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.