Welcome to I'm Not Buying That, the blog where we dissect the woeful mistakes of the advertising industry. I'm your host, CJ Garrett, and I view terrible ads so you don't have to.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Stay classy, Microsoft

I should just write a fucking manifesto on How to Advertise Without Looking Like a Total Douchebag. I think people would find it useful, you know? I would swear a lot. And make fun of stupid companies.

....Or I could just keep spewing out crap on INBT. That would be cool too, wouldn't it? Less effort involved.

Anyway, what with the horrible stuff happening over in Japan, I kinda thought I should just stay quiet for a few days. I know I'm totally distracting you guys with my wit and charm and dashing good looks. But a thing has been brought to my attention that cannot be allowed to pass without comment, or at least without some pointing and laughing.

Microsoft have once again shoved their proverbial foot into it. Here's the story, courtesy of The Stranger:

Yeah, they didn't think this one through at all. You have to admire their evilness, though. Let's dissect this, shall we?
  • They're using a hideous catastrophe in what looks like a cheap ploy to get retweets.
  • They've imposed an upper limit on their donation.
  • The limit isn't even pocket change for them.
I'm not sure what else to say. There's a level of stupid associated with this that makes me think their marketing department took the day off and gave the intern the Twitter password. But it doesn't stop there, oh no. This is Microsoft, kids - they don't do small.

The follow up apology kind of thing said that they were 'sorry that the tweet was negatively perceived'. So, on top of looking like self-serving douchebags, they also apologize in a half-assed, we're-not-really-responsible kind of way. Not sorry for the tweet - sorry for the reaction. Newsflash: that kinda makes you look like a spineless little shit on top of being a douchebag, no matter how much you donate.

I can't believe I need to keep saying this, but your intentions mean NOTHING in marketing. Oh, you're sorry that someone took that ad the wrong way? You never intended to make yourself look like a total douchebag? Tough. You did. Time to put on your big boy pants and make a real apology, and that starts with taking responsibility.

The point of all this is that whatever goodwill they've saved up from Bill Gates' philanthropic work has just taken a major knock. And it doesn't matter that this is just one division of Microsoft - public perception doesn't distinguish between them. It just sees one big corporate entity.

I'm hoping they'll learn from this, but it's not likely.

I'd like to add something funny from Amazon, but in light of the fact that Japan's taken a beating, I think I should add this instead. If you're going to donate to anyone, make it Doctors Without Borders. I'm leaving a button in the sidebar for easy access.


Support Japan

If you're going to donate to anyone, make it MSF. Even if Japan doesn't need it, there's a lot of people around the world that do.

I Wuv Amazon