January 06, 2007

Microsoft gets stony; Kodak goes berserk

It’s alternately funny, sad, or both when companies struggle to play against type & redefine their brands.  During my first month at Adobe, I got a horrible sunburn as I stood for hours on a pier in San Francisco, passing out Razor scooters and "Splatterpunk" temporary tats to 13-year-olds at the X Games.  "And this will help LiveMotion succeed… how, exactly??," I thought as I slowly carbonized like a pig on a spit.  While Macromedia was releasing killer ads, Adobe was buying magazine spreads featuring a dude snowboarding down a volcano. Yeesh

Microsoft is now making some interesting efforts to redefine its image.  Last year saw the hilarious and dead-on "Microsoft iPod" self-parody video, and now they’re getting way out there with Clearification, a site chiefly featuring the brilliantly stony ramblings of Demitri Martin. Somehow, on some level, the site is theoretically related to Vista.  Somehow.  Anyway… [Via]  Elsewhere they’ve posted the slightly incomprehensible MsDewey.com (hey, the world loves attractive women) [Via], not to mention an online comic book about Office. [Via]

And now Kodak–evidently mad as hell & not going to take it anymore–has released "Winds of Change." In it a distinguished looking gentleman proceeds to flip out Howard Beale-style, going off about how the company isn’t "playing grab-ass anymore."  It’s kind of great, and judging from the number of times I’ve seen the link sent around this week, it’s doing that whole viral thing.
[Via Ben Long, Katrin Eismann, and others]

Slightly related: Slate ad critic Seth Stevenson slags the Intel Core 2 Duo ads: "[They] feature perhaps the least-hip hipsters I’ve ever seen. What are these people wearing? Denim culottes? Green velvet suit vests? A snap-brim hat with a feather in the band? They look like they’re in a high school ska band. Word of advice, Intel: Do not attempt to make computer processing chips cool. It’s a losing battle." (Hey now; you just need some toasted bunny suits…)

Ah, well; no one gets out alive. :-)  At the end of the day, at least none of us have assaulted U2 in the name of celebrating banking services.  (Excuse me while I go wash my brain…)

Posted by John Nack at 11:30 AM on January 06, 2007


  • Rob — 12:48 PM on January 06, 2007

    “…Adobe was buying magazine spreads featuring a dude snowboarding down a volcano. Yeesh…”
    I have that t-shirt.
    [You got off easy. >;-)
    Actually the artwork was fine–very well executed. What got me was that it was all so tone-deaf, so out of step with what Web customers would actually be into. You got the impression that fortysomething marketroids in San Jose were saying, “Well, my 9-year-old said something about this ‘Tony Bird’ fellow, some kind of ‘skater’… Let’s get in on that!” (Gah, sorry to air ancient grievances. There, I’ve said my piece, and we can move on. :-) –J.]

  • TeTé — 1:51 PM on January 06, 2007

    It is a site who talk about “photo” in general but do not appears no photos!!!
    [Are you saying you’d like to see more photos on this blog? –J.]

  • Paul Perton — 10:37 PM on January 06, 2007

    You might be right about clearification.com and I may never know. On my 20k-25k/sec connection, the site has been downloading for over 20 minutes.
    Enough! Microsoft – get a life! We don’t all have broadband.

  • Mattias — 4:58 AM on January 07, 2007

    It’s not to late to beat BofA. Maybe you can bring in that Vanishing-Point-Dog again for the CS3-launch?
    [Not a VP fan, I take it? The dog is named “Natasha,” by the way, and lives in Boston. –J.]

  • keith — 8:28 AM on January 07, 2007

    I suggest TeTe post that Photo question to Ms Dewey…

  • Mattias — 10:57 PM on January 07, 2007

    Hehe, like the vanishing point. Got pretty bored with the dog-trick though. Still see it every time Adobe show up at a show.
    [Well, get ready to hate the “CD case” demo. ;-) –J.]

  • Sandy — 11:57 AM on January 12, 2007

    Adobe is the stupidist God Damn program! If I want to add text to the photos, shouldn’t it be obvious that I want the text to be visable? I’ve wanted this program for years, and now I want to break it into tiny pieces, find the people who created it and throttle them.

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