Feeds

Microsoft gets hip with da yoof to flog email

Doing it for charidee

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

What could be more insincere than a bunch of marketing types concocting a fake blog to pimp their company's services by hitching them to worthy causes?

This could - getting a bunch of marketing people who specialize in nothing but pimping other people's products and services to do it for you. And then targeting kids and teens.

Microsoft has hired McCann Worldgroup to create a campaign driving uptake of its IM and email by affiliating with ten charitable organizations. Driving the campaign is the demographically-profiled and completely fake Parker Whittle, created by McCann. Hey, this speaks to the kids, right? Pot-smoking expression, geek glasses, blogging with the internets. That's what I hear my daughters' friends talking about all the time...

The idea is to get people IMing and emailing to raise money for the causes during a 30-day "i'm talkathon". Worthy stuff.

Except... for the charities to get donations you must be using Hotmail (Windows Live Hotmail) and IM (Windows Live Messenger). So step right up and open one, two or three accounts - more, even, because you can associate different charities with different accounts.

According to the talkathon literature: "Donations from the i'm Initiative are based on advertising revenue raised from Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail usage." Also: "The more you send messages, the more Microsoft will donate." And the more users of Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail it gets.

Among other creakingly scripted "conversations" on his "blog" "Parker Whittle" "writes": "I saw an ad that said, 'The more you talk, the more we give.' So I thought, if I get a bunch of people talking for 30 days, how much will they give?"

Microsoft and McCann are all business again at the bottom of the page with a disclaimer, just in case anyone had been taken in by this cleverly crafted fakery and decided to sue. Take note: "The Parker Whittle character depicted herein is fictitious and his activities are described for illustrative purposes only." The spirit of Dan Lyons lives. ®

Top three mobile application threats

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.