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  1. #1
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    Try IE8, Hunt For $10,000

    Someone at Microsoft Australia has launched the most inept marketing campaign for Internet Explorer ever conceived.

    http://www.microsoft.com/australia/ie8/competition/

    Download Internet Explorer 8 and follow clues to find a webpage that can only be seen with IE8, winning you $10,000 if you're the first to find it.

    Why is this completely foolish?
    • The marketing page advertising the promotion can only be viewed fully in IE8, but Microsoft's own list of sites to display with Compatibility View forces IE8 into Compatibility View, so the page thinks you're on IE7 and tells you to upgrade.
    • IE8 was Microsoft's most significant push for supporting web standards in a real way, while this marketing gimmick is all about browser sniffing and browser-specific code.
    • The browser sniffing is primitive enough that it fails to only work on IE8 anyway; you can trick the pages into displaying on other browsers.
    • If you're using Chrome or other competing browsers, the ad insults you.


    The IE team worked so hard to develop some relationship with the design community and to push through standards support for IE8. Marketing like this wipes out the good rapport they've worked so hard to build.

    Whatever managers approved this over at Microsoft Australia should have their positions in the marketing department reconsidered.

    For a more reasonable promotion that started last week, Microsoft is donating to Feeding America for each download of IE8 through the "Browser for the Better" site.
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    Last edited by Dan Grossman; Jun 17, 2009 at 09:36.

  2. #2
    From Italy with love silver trophybronze trophy
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    Told me to get lost with FF, but I managed to make 'em think it was IE8

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Kailash Badu's Avatar
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    Now this is a bit over the top.

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Kailash Badu's Avatar
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    Has the page been taken off, returned 404 for me?

  5. #5
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    It was gone, now it's back.

    And it's "Powered by Live Search" which doesn't exist anymore.

    This is just ridiculously bad.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy Kailash Badu's Avatar
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    I think Microsoft’s isn’t unaware that all these sniffing and browser specific code are inherently fallible. It also knows that the campaign might attract a horde of non-IE user who can easily download a copy of IE 8, search for the reward, and do away with the browser once the campaign is over. Thus doing very little to deepen its penetration in the market. The main objective apparently is to grab headlines, get a great deal of press coverage, and stir a conversation across blogosphere and social networks. Given the amount of press it has received, I think it could very well be a case of mission accomplished for Microsoft with a paltry 10 grand.

  7. #7
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    A more interesting Microsoft Australia offer is the one where they are paying either $25 or $2000 toward your electricity bill if you purchase one of selected Microsoft products before the end of July. The game to try to get the $2000 requires downloading Silverlight but you can get the $25 without needing to do anything other than purchase a qualifying product.

    What made this a particularly interesting offer is how it combines with other offers.

    Office Home and Student 2007 is one of the qualifying products currently offered on special from DSE for $146 with DSE throwing in a free surge protection powerboard that normally sells for $97. Deduct the cost of the powerboard, the electricity contribution from Microsoft, and claim the 50% student rebate on lodging your tax in early July and you have both a 3 computer licence to Office and a powerboard and paid only $48 for them.

    I wonder how many people they'll get to download Silverlight in the hope of being able to get the $2000 instead of just the $25?
    Stephen J Chapman

    javascriptexample.net, Book Reviews, follow me on Twitter
    HTML Help, CSS Help, JavaScript Help, PHP/mySQL Help, blog
    <input name="html5" type="text" required pattern="^$">

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard bronze trophy bluedreamer's Avatar
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    "So get rid of it, or get lost!"
    That says it all really. Treating people with that sort of contempt will just lose them all the ground they could have gained. Shame really because they had a golden opportunity, they made 20 steps forward with IE8, and now they've gone back 50 steps!

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard ShayneTilley's Avatar
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    We've just been having a good laugh about it here ...

    Fail Fail Fail Fail Fail

    The artwork looks like it's been completed in power point, the follow @tengrand_IE8 isn't even a link. Basic basic stuff.

    I don't mind the concept of going on a treasure hunt for $10 grand but this could have been implemented a million times better.

    How about ...

    7 day treasure hunt...

    Follow the twitter account to start getting clues. Each day give a clue which give you 1/6th of an image that is your final clue to find the cash.

    Each clue exposes you to different aspect of Microsoft. The first might be hidden on the FAQ's page of IE8, 2nd might be hidden by a specific keyword on bing and so on.

    Release the clues at the same time each day, so it's fair for everyone, and make it lots of fun. Give a little prize for the first to find the daily clue - there is so much you could do...

    Once all 6 pieces have been unearthed, the race to the 7th begins.

    Why they've gone with an alternate browser bagging session, and using force tactics not encouragement and awareness tactics is beyond me. They've got a brand that people love to bash and they still keep making stupid arrogant mistakes.

    They need to take a good hard look at their online reputation and develop embracing campaigns not divisive. I copped a little flack for this post, but I still stand by it, now they are doing the same with IE.
    Shayne Tilley

    My slightly left of center thoughts on
    marketing, business and life in general.

  10. #10
    Follow Me On Twitter: @djg gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy Dan Grossman's Avatar
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    The social icons on the bottom fill in your status with "Currently reading http://www.tengrandisburiedhere.com". A domain which does not resolve.

  11. #11
    Follow: @AlexDawsonUK silver trophybronze trophy AlexDawson's Avatar
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    Personally I think everyone here has the wrong impression, it takes a designer of sheer genius to make such a trainwreck out of what could have been a great promotion so I think we should be congratulating Microsoft for showing why they need to stick to adopting web standards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Grossman View Post
    For a more reasonable promotion that started last week, Microsoft is donating to Feeding America for each download of IE8 through the "Browser for the Better" site.
    Dan, am I the only one to see the beautiful irony in the fact that the "feeding america" website has a clearly overweight child in the life stories image?

  12. #12
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    DNS cannot resolve it (traceroute) from Melbourne, Australia.


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