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June 10, 2006

Willy Gates Gets His Funk On With Product Naming

What do you do when everyone knows you’re a geek? You try to make some cool friends, of course.

I was amused to read that and the folks at , irked at being presented as earnest, bumbling dorks by Apple’s advertising, have gone out and tried to get funky, too.

MTVNo, Gates hasn’t changed the corporate culture at Microsoft or started wearing turtlenecks and cargo pants. Instead, he’s discovered that he can supply the demand for tech-based outlets for brand name building — and they’re trying to get very cool brands to come join the fun. We’re talking cultivating partnerships with MTV, Def Jam, NBA superstar LeBron James and even the Dixie Chicks.

Def JamMicrosoft has discovered that the Windows brand, thanks to the new products offered in , is kind of cool. In fact, Microsoft has found that the Windows brand name is cooler than Microsoft’s.

It’s a common enough occurrence in product naming, when a company not only promotes its best product name heavily — it renames itself around it (3Com’s popular Palm Pilot instantly comes to mind, a product that launched the emancipation of ). Often enough, one way cool product name can change the whole perception of a company (iPod springs to mind, frankly).

LeBron JamesBut Microsoft isn’t changing its company name to Windows just yet. It’s just inviting everyone over to see just how cool it is. It's like the biggest geek on the block suddenly deciding to share his neato toy — instant popularity.

Jay-ZThe want to embed their own MSN writer on their tour, and Microsoft will be offering virtual tours of ' “King for Kids Bike-A-Thon.” They’ve purchased an in-video game advertising company called Massive and rolled out some cool indy production companies that can promote their stuff via, you guessed it, Windows Live.

Microsoft has even become pals with Hip Hop mogul , who, at an MSN sponsored dinner recently, toasted his new homeboy “Willy Gates.”

I’m not trading in my Mac just yet.

Brand Entertainment is a growing brand marketing phenomenon. For more on this subject, please go to:

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Posted by William Lozito at June 10, 2006 3:56 PM
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1 Comment

Sorry, Microsoft, you're still a few steps behind when it comes to 'cool'. Look, Apple has U2, Microsoft counters with Justin Timberlake. No contest.

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