Microsoft, your advertising for Windows Phone is terrible

Sydney Myers
Teen Lifestyle Editor from  Dallas, TX
| September 15, 2011

Microsoft. Microsoft. Microsoft. There are so many words I have for you right now. I just got done watching your new YouTube video featuring a small business that uses Windows Phone and I have finally just had enough of this terrible marketing. Yes, I understand what you're trying to do. You want to show how real people use Windows Phone in the real world. It's a fantastic idea. But you know what? These videos are some of the worst advertising spots I have ever seen in my life. No wonder Windows Phone is sitting at a pathetic 1% market share. Your marketing is terrible!

(In case you readers are wondering what I'm talking about, let me give you an idea of Microsoft's YouTube advertising scheme. Each video features a different small business that was started and is run by just a few people. The video describes the business, how it was created, and the philosophy of its creators. It shows what the people do for the community and how they help with non-profit activities. The video shows their products, how they create them, what they mean to the creators and what they should mean to you. If you're wondering where Windows Phone comes into the picture, it's not yet. The video then discusses how these small business people are trying to change the world, help children, or just help other people. Then, right about two minutes into the video, a minor feature of Windows Phone is finally mentioned for just a few seconds, the person describes how they use it in their business dealings, and then they return to talking about their business and their philosophy. A three minute video with twenty seconds of Windows Phone talk.)

This, Microsoft, is crap. Complete and utter crap. If I didn't know this video was made by you, I would never know that it was (supposed) to be about Windows Phone. If I didn't know that much about Windows Phone, even after watching this video, I still wouldn't know anything about Windows Phone. In fact, I would think this was more a commercial for the small business than any piece of technology. What's the deal, Microsoft? Are you trying to advertise for some puny business or are you trying to advertise your fledgling, dying OS? Need I remind you that your OS needs advertising? Need I remind you that no one currently cares about Windows Phone? Need I remind you that Windows Mobile was an abomination that nearly permanently ruined your reputation in the mobile world to the point that some people would never even consider touching another Microsoft device?

Apple isn't this subtle with its advertising and it's Apple, for crying out loud. If Apple feels the need to shove the iPod and iPad down my throat and tell me how magical they are even though they're selling literally millions of them, then what are you doing?

Advertise your OS, Microsoft! Don't hide it behind the curtain of someone else's ingenious idea. I think it's great that Eagle Rock Yacht Club created a dodge ball league and is trying to improve their community. That's a great idea. You know what else is a great idea? Your new operating system! You don't have to be ashamed of it. Advertise it, Microsoft! Why are you hiding your OS in these fantastical videos about the display of the human spirit? It's beautiful, I admit, but it's doing nothing for your OS!

You had a good thing going with the 'It's time for a phone to save us from our phones' campaign. Now that people have heard of Windows Phone, it's time to tell them why they should care. Tell them about Live Tiles. Tell them about Office. Tell them about a smooth and beautiful user experience. (Honestly, it's almost like you don't know the features of your own operating system.)

You are in a unique position, Microsoft. You don't have the luxury of being able to simply tell people about your OS and then wait for them to come to you in droves. Only Apple can do that. You have to tell them why they should care about your OS. Tell them what your OS has to offer. Don't worry, this won't be too hard! Tell the people about multi-tasking, how simple it is to use, and the business and enterprise features. Be bold but be honest. Don't say that you have a huge app market. Everyone knows that's not true. (It's growing, yes, but you can't compete with the iOS app store.) But just because you don't have 300,000 apps doesn't mean your OS has nothing else going for it.

Now, I could be jumping the gun here. Maybe these YouTube videos are not the only thing you have coming down the line. Even so, just stop posting them. They're a waste of time and money.