Best American commercials of 2006

At Brandstage you can find a selection of best American commercials. Great stuff. Especially like the one for Hummer 😉


TV on your Xbox

A lot of blogs are catching this news and rightly so. This is great news. The best way to summarize it is what Peter Barret said on The Next Net.

When Microsoft TV CTO Peter Barrett visited me around that time (watch the video), I asked him if the Xbox video download service would be a precursor to full-fledged IPTV on the console. His response:

For the Xbox Live media device, you download the video to the drive and watch it from the drive.  The experience is most close to a DVR.  Where it gets interesting is when that device is being used also as a set-top box and have that broadcast live events. In that scenario, it would be a service provider set-top box that happened to be an Xbox. If we were to do such a thing, it helps with subscriber acquisition and it is a powerful set-top box.

Achievement points / Gamerscore = Microsoft’s killer application?

MSpointsAccording to Scoble: “achievement points are how Microsoft is gonna edge in on Google“. He is not the only one, GameDaily Biz says: “The concept of Achievement Points and a Gamerscore has become more popular than Microsoft ever imagined.”

I do believe this can give us an edge. Look at Airmiles and how many people are using their Amex card to collect points. I don’t believe those schemes can build brand loyalty but I do believe that it can help convince people to switch to our services. As stated by Scoble, if you would give points for every 100 Windows Live Search or for the amount of visitors to your Windows Live Space, you will have a powerfull tool to have people switch. Once they have switched we can only work on the product itself to make them loyal to the product / brand. This is not the same as for the Gamerscore of course, where you really have a brand building aspect.

Another key thing here is: “What can you do with the points?” At the moment (correct me if I’m wrong) you can use them for Xbox and Zune stuff, which is great of course. But I think Microsoft should look at this in a broader spectrum and include all consumer related products.

It’s quite funny that this posting comes up now. I was hired at Microsoft 6 months ago and had a telephone interview with the former Country Manager of Microsoft in Belgium: Bruno Segers. He knew I had a background in loyalty marketing programs and his first question was exactly this: “how can we leverage this existing points system to a broader Microsoft plan?” Good thinking I would say 😉

Branded entertainment by Axe (PG13)

city-hunters.JPGIn Belgium, Axe has made some great campaigns. But in Argentina they are taking it one step further with there City Hunters campaign. This is a great example of branded entertainment. They created a comic strip of 30 minutes (bye bye 30 seconde spot!) that is aired on Fox. I have only watched the teasers online but they are fantastic. Drawings are made by Milo Manara, the famous adult comic strip designer, and direction was in the hands of Carlos Beaza, who has directed several episodes of The Simpsons.

Windows Live for TV

windowslivefortv.jpgLive TV is an additional program for Windows Media Center which will provide access to Spaces, Messenger, and Live Call, all wrapped up in a ten foot interface.  Here’s the feature list from Ideas:

• Browse millions of Spaces in rich 3D graphics with new Gallery views and full keyword search
• Find out what your friends have been doing and saying on Windows Live Spaces
• Have real-time text and voice conversations*
• Call your friends’ mobile or landline telephones by signing up with Verizon Web Calling to make affordable domestic and international calls**
• Easily navigate with yout mouse, keyboard or a TV remote (remote navigation requires Microsoft Media Center Remote and IR)
• Make free PC-to-PC calls to other Windows Live Messenger users.

“Windows Live for TV is an early beta 3D browser application that makes it easy to connect to your social network as well as friends and family from within Vista Media Center or IE7.0.  You’re be able to view the best of Windows Live Spaces and communicate with Friends and Family over Windows Live Messenger 8.1 with voice & text chat as well as make a phone call.

First found on LiveSide

Cross posted on Belgian Windows Live Team Space