Corporate Eye

How Not to Use Social Media to Market Your Brand or Anything Else – Ever

Microsoft brings us a great example of how NOT to use social media to market your business, your brand, your products, or anything else you might ever consider promoting online in any way shape or form with its Global Windows 7 Launch Party campaign.

I don’t think I could make this story much funnier than The Register did, so check out their take for a good laugh.  In the meantime, here’s my view on this marketing ‘miss’.

First, the Global Windows 7 Launch Party is a worldwide online event hosted on the Web site, where anyone can sign up to host a party to celebrate the launch of Microsoft Vista 2 Windows 7 with their friends and loved ones.  So if you want to lose your friends and annoy your family members, go here and sign up to host your own Windows 7 launch party right now.

Why so negative, you ask?  It’s not so much the idea of the Global Windows 7 Launch Party, which seems lame enough in and of itself, as it is the promotional videos Microsoft has unleashed on the unsuspecting online world to teach people how to host a Global Windows 7 Launch Party.

I cannot do these videos justice in text summary.  You must either watch them or read the article on The Register for full humorous impact.  However, I will include them below for your analysis:

First, the “How to Host a Global Windows 7 Launch Party” video complete with preparation instructions, agenda suggestions, and more uncomfortable banter than an interview between Glen Beck and Richard Gere might be.

Next, the terrible party idea suggestion.  Copy music and send your friends home with it.  Notice the missing disclaimer that copying music you don’t own or have permission to copy is illegal.  Oops.

And now the final piece of torture.  Notice how at 30-seconds into the video, the over-zealous partier proclaims, “Cool!”  I believe the real-world exclamation at this point would be something more along the lines of, “Dude!  We can’t be friends anymore.”

So yes, this post was a bit more sarcastic than you might usually see here on Corporate Eye, but if you read any of my other blogs, then you know I’m very sarcastic in real life.  And I couldn’t resist this one.  This story was just too lame to ignore.  I’m waiting for the Windows 7 Launch Party skit on Saturday Night Live.  If only that show was as good as it used to be, but I digress.  What’s the SNL equivalent outside of the U.S.?  There’s parody gold here!

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.