Saturday, August 26, 2006

How NOT to Manage Your Online Presence

There were some hilarious videos from Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, filmed for Microsoft's UK employees , getting huge play over at YouTube. Not available anymore.

This video has been removed at the request of copyright owner Microsoft because its content was used without permission.

What made the videos great was not only the wit of the film makers, but the fact that Microsoft was allowing playful jabs at itself, even skewering Gates himself a couple of times. Talk on the blogs was "imagine Steve Jobs allowing this sort of fun at his own expense. Never."

Now Microsoft has reverted to its litigious, corporate public image. With those videos they had succeeded in reaching the public in a new way, offering a fresh and funny image that helped to assuage years of bad PR.

It was only a mirage. They are still the same.

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  • I think you are neglecting to consider that Gervais and Merchant may have worked for a reduced fee for an "internal only" movie. And Microsoft may have been told by Gervais' lawyers to take it down. Isn't this the same reason why those fantastic "Truth in Advertising" shorts are not online?

    By Anonymous Scaramouch, at August 26, 2006 at 11:46 AM  

  • Possible, sure, but that makes Gervais and his lawyers idiots and ignorant of....damnit - I hate this word - the "VIRAL" effect of the videos.

    I'd argue that the videos were helping Gervais' career, perhaps even renewing interest in the original "Office" series. Not everyone on this side of the pond had heard of him, and he was likely introduced to a bigger audience through those videos.

    Then again, maybe it was a planned thing - a teaser. "Let's let them see this stuff for a week or two - then yank it down."

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at August 26, 2006 at 12:13 PM  

  • Hi Mister Jet,

    In the meantime... I found this and thought you might like it.


    PS: "Life is like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get" - Forrest Gump. ;)

    By Anonymous mindblob, at August 28, 2006 at 8:48 AM  

  • Very cool, minblob. Thanks.

    Now mass produce it so that it's cheap and I can get it at the WalMart SuperCenter at 3AM.

    Might have to change the name of this blog then!

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at August 28, 2006 at 9:03 AM  

  • Hey Jetpacks, if no one on this side of the pond heard of Ricky and the Office. He certainly made a shitload of money when the Yanks paid him and Merchant for the rights to do a very poor version of it on this side of the pond. Remember when Roseanne bought the rights to AbFab, then realized she couldn't do it justice here if you have to cut out the smoking, boozing, swearing and sex. That's why US network TV is pathetic... OK, HBO is something else... Deadwood probably uses the word "Cocksucker" more than Shakespeare ever did... And he invented it!

    By Blogger George Parker, at September 7, 2006 at 6:56 PM  

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