Here’s a nice little object lesson in audience engagement.
Go to this new microsite for Windows Mobile.
Skip the flash animation junk and watch the “Caught on video” episodes on the bottom left.
Then watch the outtakes.
In my opinion, the video episodes themselves are good ideas executed badly, mainly because they make the guy ENUNCIATE THE PRODUCT NAMES so blatantly. Who in their right mind would say “I’m updating a WORD(TM) DOCUMENT”? But that’s Microsoft for you.
The outtakes are 1,000% more entertaining. Minimal brand pimping, lots more ad libbing, and just basically letting a funny idea play itself out.
So what? In my case, I started watching each official “episode” once. After #2, I started getting bored and only watched the first 10-15 seconds of the rest.
On the other hand, I watched the outtakes all the way through 2 or 3 times each. And I’m blogging about them now. Because they’re funny. Really funny. The ad libs in the “beaver dam” one are awesome.
I’d love to be able to track the number of views of the official episodes vs. the outtakes over time to see if it proves the old Howard Gossage point right: people will watch what’s interesting to them. Not what’s interesting to the advertiser.
Think Microsoft will make that data public? Anyway, thanks to Microsoft and AdFreak for the example.
(Ported from the old blog.)