Maybe Microsoft is secretly auditioning for a spot in the fall television sit-com lineup. Following up on its recent “Gmail Man” spoof, the company today rolled out a new online campaign featuring a new character, a behind-the-times salesman named Tad — depicting him as trying to foist outdated technology from VMware on unsuspecting business customers.
“Some people get so obsessed with having the latest, newest, most-advanced technology all the time,” Tad says. “That’s a rat race, man.”
The campaign’s debut is timed to the start of the annual VMworld conference. VMware is headed by former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz.
Frank Shaw, Microsoft’s communications chief, acknowledges in a post today that “we’ve been having some fun and taking a more pointed tone in some of our communications of late.”
Shaw cites other examples, recent and past, and says that people “can expect to see us continue to find ways to tell our story, on our own and against our competitors, especially where there is a gap between perception and facts, using ads, tweets, video, infographics, and, we hope, more than a dash of humor.”