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Technology Marketing: A Comic Sensibility

November 14th, 2005 by Hans Bjordahl :: see related comic

Humor is a great way to get your point across in marketing, and I’ve noticed lately that a certain Large Northwest Software Company has been featuring more and more of what I’d term “a comic sensibility” in its marketing campaigns. Two examples:

1) The “Escape from Yesterworld” site. I came across this recently and it’s a lot of fun: old Flash Gordon clips with humorous voice-overs that reflect the daily challenges of IT. Hint: To get to the clips, click on one of the five buttons/lights in the lower left of the interface. The ultimate goal: Inspire users to sign up for the beta version of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and Microsoft SQL Server 2005 as a means to — what else? — escape Yesterworld.

2) The Office “dinosaur” campaign. I can tell you that in the hallways of a certain Large Northwest Software Company, this campaign is the topic of many lively impromptu debates, to the point where one of my favorite conversation starters there is “so, are you pro-dinosaur or anti-dinosaur?” Me, I’m pro-dinosaur. I like the campaign. It’s attention-grabbing. It also does a good job of using humor to balance what amounts to a rather bold challenge to the target audience (i.e. to upgrade to the latest version of Office or risk obsolescence). The dinosaur campaign seems to inspire a “love it or hate it” reaction, however, so I’d love to hear what others think about it.

What other technology-oriented advertising and marketing campaigns have made you laugh while getting their message across?

13 Responses to “Technology Marketing: A Comic Sensibility”
Chris Law wrote:

I HATE this ad. Everytime I see it I think - what ad company convinced Microsoft to spend millions of dollars on this idea that they had sitting around.

It’s so content light that it doesn’t get the point across at all about why I need to upgrade.

Technical Careers @ Microsoft wrote:

Gretchen Ledgard

JobsBlog’s cartoon images and title bar are provided by Hans Bjordahl.  See more…

Technical Careers @ Microsoft wrote:

Gretchen Ledgard

Like the cartoon?  Visit Hans Bjordahl’s Bug Bash to see more!
 
I’m Gretchen Ledgard, and…

Technical Careers @ Microsoft wrote:

Jenna Adorno

JobsBlog’s cartoon images and title bar are provided by Hans Bjordahl.  See more…

Melissa, the task mistress wrote:

I thought IBM’s humorous e-business campaigns (magic pixie dust that makes servers “just work,” widget that can solve any business problem, etc.) was really good in that it poked fun of the industry with out poking fun of the customers.

JBrown wrote:

When Sprint and Nextel joined forces, they had a commercial where the protagonist had more “choice” in his life. It was random things like a third faucet or the ability to walk, jump or skip across the street. The best was the jetpack instead of the elevator to get to his floor at work.

Technical Careers @ Microsoft wrote:

Julie Stringham

JobsBlog’s cartoon images and title bar are provided by Hans Bjordahl.  See more…

Technical Careers @ Microsoft wrote:

2005 for JobsBlog: The Good, the Bad, and even more hires!

2005. Wow. I didn’t think this year could get more interesting than 2004, but it sure the heck did….

mitchell wrote:

The dinosaur ad is amazing. What other company is so bold to come out and tell people that had previously purchased their product…”HEY stoopid! you are so behind the times using the OLD product that we sold you”

Oh yes, the fashion industry does that all the time!

ed wrote:

I like the dinosaur ads because they drive home the point: get with the new Office or get left behind. Great concept.

Some say it is appropriate that we have dinosaurs in our ads….

John wrote:

Is it puzzling that a major faction of IT folks really despise you guys? I like what Mitchell said:

The dinosaur ad is amazing. What other company is so bold to come out and tell people that had previously purchased their product…”HEY stoopid! you are so behind the times using the OLD product that we sold you”

Not to mention that all the micro-security functions being advocated will no doubt BREAK causing all kinds of havoc. How about getting the core security stuff down first? You know, the stuff that actually drives your OS? Y’all should have done what Apple did a few years ago. Get a decent Unix / Linux kernel and build OS functions and GUI from it.

bnhixynapohy wrote:

titsapyzizati

exvowyruxusa

bymnSleense wrote:

There was this guy see.
He wasn’t very bright and he reached his adult life without ever having learned “the facts”.
Somehow, it gets to be his wedding day.
While he is walking down the isle, his father tugs his sleeve and says,

“Son, when you get to the hotel room…Call me”

Hours later he gets to the hotel room with his beautiful blushing bride and he calls his father,

“Dad, we are the hotel, what do I do?”

“O.K. Son, listen up, take off your clothes and get in the bed, then she should take off her clothes and get in the bed, if not help her. Then either way, ah, call me”

A few moments later…

“Dad we took off our clothes and we are in the bed, what do I do?”

O.K. Son, listen up. Move real close to her and she should move real close to you, and then… Ah, call me.”

A few moments later…

“DAD! WE TOOK OFF OUR CLOTHES, GOT IN THE BED AND MOVED REAL CLOSE, WHAT DO I DO???”

“O.K. Son, Listen up, this is the most important part. Stick the long part of your body into the place where she goes to the bathroom.”

A few moments later…

“Dad, I’ve got my foot in the toilet, what do I do?”


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Bug Bash is a comic strip written and illustrated by Hans Bjordahl. Bug Bash is a comic strip about technology: managing technology, the business of technology. It's about project management and managing projects through the dull world of Rational Rose, use cases, and requirements. Functional requirements, user requirement, functional specifications, design specifications, call it what you want but it's still the bane of project managers. And when you're done with that, you can think about all the fun that comes with timelines, scheduling, estimates (PERT estimation anyone?) and resourcing until Gantt charts are coming out of your ears. Let's not forget the risk management in the software engineering life cycle. Maintaining the project is just as much fun, managing what was initially set out in requirements and trying to keep feature creep / scope creep in check with change management. If any of these words send nightmares to you, the project manager, then this site probably rings true with you. (Who Links Here?)