Microsoft’s I’m campaign has always intrigued me. The purpose of the campaign is to increase the usage and uptake of Microsoft’s 2 strongest online products. It’s IM (MSN Messanger) and it’s email (hotmail).
The basic idea of the campaign is that every time you use the IM or the hotmail, then a portion of advertising revenue is being shared with 10 social causes.In my opinion, a campaign that uses CSR efforts to push its products is smart, that’s why I love the Adidas Dream Big campaign. You can read more about the campaign here. As you can see, I’ve put the I’m badge on my blog. (Talk about sleeping with the enemy!! I intern at Yahoo! now)
What’s interesting about the campaign now is its newest extension, the I’m talkathon. the use of a “fake” blog to post the happenings of Parker. Parker is this dude who vows not to sleep for 30 days to do his bid for the “I’m Initiative”. The blog will showcase videos, postings and other cool stuff of him and the social causes involved.
Those worried about another “walmart” incident need not worry as they have this huge disclaimer!
If you’re reading this, your BS detector is chirping like a smoke detector with a dicey 9-volt. As you’ve probably guessed, this blog is fictional, but the causes, and the i’m Initiative most certainly are not. The purpose of this blog is to raise awareness of the i’m Initiative and the worthy causes it helps. If we rubbed you the wrong way in the process that wasn’t our intention, so “sorry, our bad.” The alternate was something called an “e-mail blast.” But, believe us that’s not nearly as exciting as it sounds. A herd of well-compensated legal professionals in Redmond, Washington, says we also need to tell you something:
The Parker Whittle character depicted herein is fictitious and his activities are described for illustrative purposes only.
Personally, I think this extension of the campaign is a pretty neat. It has a blend of CSR marketing while utilizing social media in an unconventional way. Plus (and a big plus), it’s pretty funny too! Some of the comments made was that the idea was “lame” or ‘dumb’, but all didn;t mind if such efforts benefited the social causes. (See the forgiveness of the harshest critics in the face of CSR?)
This is clearly a separate case from the ‘walmart’ one a few yrs back, with them stating clearly that it’s a fake blog. They’ve also used other micro tools such as Twitter, Digg, Del.lico.us and Facebook for this campaign.
What i wonder however is the response and the hit rate of this blog. Firstly, the posts don’t have as many comments as i expect such a campaign would draw (Would it mean it hasn’t attracted the kind of attention it should? and secondly, they aren’t responding to negative comments. Should they be doing so or just ignoring the people dropping by. After all, it’s using a social media tool, it’s gotta have a personal approach right?
You can check out the blog here.
So what do you think? Thumbs up or down for this campaign and why you think so? Please share with me, I’ll love to hear your thoughts!!