Why Microsoft's Cheesy Dance Video Is Good Marketing

    by Shannon Sweetser

    Date

    November 18, 2009 at 12:51 PM

    Microsoft tried to have a little fun with viral internet video this week by filming and uploading a line dance that occurred in their Mission Viejo store. The video, which lasts a whopping 4 minutes and 44 seconds, was panned by Thomas Ricker of Engaget who pointed out that it was impossible to watch entire video without feeling a little sorry for Microsoft's dancing employees.

    Though most bloggers believe this video to be a poor, bandwagon attempt at content creation, I prefer to acknowledge that though this video is cheesy, it's actually aligned with best marketing practices. 

    There Is No Such Thing As Failure, Just Failure to Learn From Your Mistakes.

    Though a large portion of the employees appear to genuinely have a good time in the video, the biggest criticism has been that the entire dance seems have been forced upon them. I personally see a few glimmers of enjoyment. The employees cheer. They smile. They hoot.  Eventually, a couple of confident customers jump in to the mix and start dancing, too. My question when I watched this video was not so much about how happy the employees are to be dancing, but if the creators felt this content accomplished their inbound marketing goals. Even if the creators only intended to create content that demonstrates how fun it is to work them, it's obvious that this video fell short where other companies such as Connected Ventures have succeeded.

    Microsoft employees should take the time and examine if they accomplished what they set out to do when they posted this video. Perhaps it's the repetitive movements and clapping, or the sheer length of the video, or because prisoners in the Philippines seem to have more fun recreating Thriller that their attempt at video has been labeled as a total flop, but they won't know until they take a hard look at their strategy.

    Occasionally Creating Mediocre Video Content is Better than None at All

    At HubSpot, we try to inspire others to create content that attracts qualified, quality prospects to them. We offer helpful inbound marketing content that teaches people how they can use inbound marketing to drive leads to their website. Though I agree with tech-bloggers that this video isn’t Microsoft’s best offering, I still believe it’s better to occasionally create mediocre content than to stay inside a protective bubble where you’re not creating any content at all. 

    Do not let fear of failure stop you from creating fresh video content for your business and posting it online. Video success does not happen overnight. The more you do it, the more you’ll begin to understand what kinds of content really resonate with your audience.  Last year HubSpot's very own Repcor made an enthusiastic rap about South By Southwest, an interactive Internet, film and video festival in Austin, Texas. Though her SXSW Rap made it to the front page of Digg, a feat in itself, a large number of Digg users panned the video. Repcor didn’t let that stop her from going on to create amazing videos with more wide-spread success. Today, HubSpot’s Baby Got Leads video and You Oughta Know Inbound Marketing video have collectively over 80,000 views.

    If you’re thinking about experimenting with video for your business, don’t let a little dance with mediocrity keep you from creating meaningful video content for your audience.

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