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Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft’

Spin the Agencies of Record

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Content Marketing 101

Content Marketing 101Get hands-on content marketing training in our brand new boot camp, Content Marketing 101! Starting September 8, digital marketing and content experts will teach you the tips and tricks for creating, distributing and measuring the success of your brand's content. Sign up before August 15 and get $50 OFF registration. Register now! 

#PRFail: Microsoft Offers To Pay TechCrunch Founder To Promote Internet Explorer

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Today in not-exactly-breaking news: Microsoft Internet Explorer lags well behind both Chrome and Firefox when it comes to overall browser usage (though they’re still ahead of Safari and Opera, whatever that is).

This week, the company “accidentally” committed a big PR no-no in its latest attempt to promote the browser; a “vendor” offered to pay TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington to write a post hyping the “reworked” version of the product.

Arrington responded with a post on UnCrunched expressing his disbelief: “do people still do this?”

Apparently so.

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Aaron Paul TV Ad Accidentally Turns On Xbox Ones, Annoys the Hell Out of People

One of the coolest things about the Xbox One is arguably its Kinect voice command feature, so of course Microsoft would want to highlight this capability in its new ads — but apparently the demonstration is working a little too well.

The new spot features Aaron Paul of “Breaking Bad” using his Xbox One in all its voice command glory, but when Paul tells his console to turn itself on, he’s accidentally turning on consoles in living rooms everywhere. Xbox One owners have taken to Twitter to share their surprise, amusement, and, at times, sputtering frustration.

 

Intentional? Probably not. Interesting? Definitely. Mike Cannon of Tech Times brings up an eerie thought: if an ad can do this by mistake, how long until marketers start doing it on purpose? Read more

These Companies Are the ‘Best Corporate Citizens’

100BestList.pdfWhat exactly makes a company a good “corporate citizen?” In order for Corporate Responsibility Magazine to determine the answer to this question, its research team considers and documents 298 data points pertaining to seven different categories: environment, climate change, employee relations, human rights, governance, finance, and philanthropy.

The result is a list of the top 100 corporations that have done the best across the board over the past year. The newly-released 2014 list features the following companies in the top spots:

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Tune in Tomorrow for Career Advice from Microsoft’s Marketing Manager

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Three quick questions:

  • Do you have a free moment tomorrow at lunchtime?
  • Would you like some advice on how to begin and advance your career in communications, social media and/or marketing?
  • Would you like to hear current Microsoft head of marketing/former Social@Ogilvy VP Geoffrey Colon discuss the matter?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above, then we strongly encourage you to tune in at 1 PM tomorrow for Mediabistro’s “Career Lunch Hangout” as managing editor Valerie Berrios and MediaJobsDaily editor/career expert Vicki Salemi host a Google+ event with Colon, marketing manager at Microsoft.

More details after the jump.

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Microsoft Sticks with Former Clinton Flack for Top Strategic Role

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Microsoft isn’t listening to our advice.

Last week we learned that the company’s new CEO Satya Nadella was supposedly close to dropping former Clinton family flack/Burson-Marsteller head Mark Penn, now known as the guy behind all those anti-Google ads, as part of its brand refresh.

It now appears that Microsoft will take the very opposite approach by giving Penn the chief strategy officer position; he previously served as EVP of ads and strategy.

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Other Brands Are Bullying Apple Now. Should They Respond?

Apple has been the coolest kid on the block for so long that it’s a little weird to see competitors ganging up on the king of Silicon Hill—but bully they will.

Back in August, Microsoft pretty much based its entire Surface promo campaign on making fun of Apple. Here’s an ad telling Siri to talk to the hand:

And we remember Motorola‘s viral “Lazy phone” series bragging about how the new Moto X allows you to “[free] up your hands for more important things” like, say, driving your car or making your bed or cracking a beer. That one came complete with the tagline “ah, so that’s the way a phone should work.”

Bitchy!

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PR Stunt: Microsoft Released a Bunch of (Canadian) Zombies for Product Rollout

Another Halloween stunt we missed yesterday: in order to promote the new Xbox, Microsoft Canada staged a little zombie apocalypse with the help of a few dozen extras bussed in from wherever actors gather to drink and commiserate.

Earlier in the week, the company set up a huge replica of the new console in a parking lot, leaving many to wonder what the hell was going on. They got their answer yesterday morning, when the box opened to reveal the zombie scourge, assembled to promote the upcoming shooter Dead Rising 3.

We assumed that the undead Canucks would be a little more polite than your average zombie, being from the Great White North and all—but judging by these Vine and Instagram video clips, they were just as thirsty for blood and flesh as your average recently deceased, newly cannibalistic fiend. Some onlookers were like “meh“, but most seemed impressed.

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Facebook and Google Seem Serious About ‘Cheap Internet for All’ CSR Projects

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When Mark Zuckerberg first announced his plans to create a free wi-fi program for the third world, quite a few responded skeptically. Was this simply a stunt designed to make Facebook look more like a responsible corporate citizen and less like Grand Theft Auto’s “LifeInvader” while adding millions to membership rolls?

Now it seems that most of tech’s biggest names are on the same page, and various projects that look and sound very similar to Internet.org are moving forward with support from the big boys. The most prominent project to date is the Alliance for Affordable Internet, or A4AI, which gained a good bit of attention this week thanks to the backing of the largest names in tech: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco Systems and, yes, Facebook. The fact that Tim Berners-Lee, aka the inventor of the World Wide Web, serves as the project’s public face only adds to its credibility.

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Facebook, Other Tech Brands Respond to Latest NSA Surveillance Revelations

The newest bombshell headlines from The Guardian‘s slow-drip reporting on our own National Security Agency‘s data collection/surveillance practices have created some unwanted headaches for the biggest names in tech. Last week’s article revealed that the American government didn’t just gather data from Facebook, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft—it also paid them millions of dollars to cover related compliance expenses.

In short, the super-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (or FISA court) ruled in 2011 that some of the NSA’s practices were unconstitutional since the organization could not effectively distinguish foreign communications from standard domestic messages like the ones you send your co-workers and friends every day. The Obama administration declassified this information last week.

After the ruling, the agency had to adjust its way of doing things in order to remedy the problem, and those changes cost participating tech companies millions that the NSA then paid back—hence the “financial relationship” first disclosed in the Guardian piece. It’s all quite labyrinthine and infuriating, but we’re most interested in the big names’ responses.

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