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viral marketing

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Microsoft is in the process of ever so slowly revealing a new product, some sort of handheld computing device called Origami. There have been leaks of photos and old concept videos, and now a website that is an advertisement for a product not yet visible, not yet on the scene.

As everyone keeps saying who follows this stuff, Microsoft is ham-handedly imitating Apple, the master of the suspenseful half-leak, the provocation of consumer desire via disinformation, false hints, and the like. What will the next iPod do? What “one more thing” will Steve Jobs have for us this time?

All well and good, most likely a sign of waning demand for new technotoys – just to throw them out there on the market is no longer enough. The consumer must be romanced.

The viral marketing campaigns, in short, correlate to an awareness on the part of the marketers of the insufficiency of the products that they sell, the fact that the duration of marketability of the product must be extended backwards, back into the time before the products actual – and inevitably disappointing – appearance on the scene. The consumers, if they will buy at all, will buy on the first day of the products appearance and not afterward. Even by a minute.

Such is democracy, such is the “marketplace of ideas,” in which the public will buy the idea but only when unmoored from an actual product.

Written by adswithoutproducts

March 8, 2006 at 2:27 am

Posted in marketing

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