My aunt Karen is in the advertising industry and she forwards me snippets where our two industries cross paths. It’s always interesting to see something you know really well from another perspective. In this case, she sent over an article from Advertising Age, Why Microsoft Killed Kin After Just Six Weeks

While the article’s conclusion is probably correct, the pricing was too high for the limited features (no GPS?), I think they went too easy on the viral video marketing campaign which rang false from me right from the beginning. Granted, I am way out of the target segment but if I can see through a staged scene, I am sure the teenagers who ran across the YouTube clips did too.

the campaign followed 24-year-old Brooklynite Rosa Salazar as she used her Kin to connect with her friends via text messages, Facebook, MySpace, Windows Live and Twitter, with her friends’ updates rising to the top of her feed. The campaign used insights from more than 50,000 20-something consumers to appeal to the hipster, metropolitan crowd.

Why Microsoft Killed Kin After Just Six Weeks

When you view this video on YouTube, you’ll quickly find out, from the related videos column on the right of the page that Matty, the subject in this video, is actually a professional stand-up comedian. From that point on, the bubble is burst. You notice that the shaky camera is a professionally shaken camera. You realize the ambush scene where Rosa meets Matty has two cameras that had to have been set up in advance. You realize that what’s supposed to be intimate and a cool little insight shared with just me is actually a slick ad produced by Redmond. You feel dumb for even thinking this was genuine.

The alternate approach is to just get weird. This video by Nokia (where I work) is super slick and it’s hard to tell if it’s even about a phone. I am not a marketer and I have no idea how effective they were in driving sales but they sure are fun to watch!

N900 – The Journey Starts Here