Instalment number two in Weird Marketing Campaign Watch: the Microsoft Zune teaser site.
What would whet your appetite for Microsoft's long-rumoured Wi-Fi-enabled MP3 player and software package? Perhaps a monochromatic animated sketch of an old man stroking a rabbit's leg?
The bizarre flash file that greets visitors to comingzune.com bears no apparent relation to portable audio products. In fact, it bears no apparent relation to anything, really.
Does this image make you want to buy an MP3 player?
While "think-outside-the-square" marketing can be novel and interesting, this seems to be veering too far into head-scratching territory. What are we to conclude from the animation? Let's start with a summary. The protagonist -- who looks like a retired pirate, someone's dodgy uncle, or one of those mad self-styled philosophers who exposit their theories atop a milk crate in public parks -- wears a placid expression as he strokes a small bunny. A miniature human figure, apparently male, observes the scene from a distance. After a few moments, said human figure approaches the animal with some trepidation, and reaches out to touch it. He then seems to have second thoughts, and draws his hand away. Retired Pirate gives a permissive nod, bears his snaggly teeth, and the two then stroke the rabbit together, with the mini man throwing his arms around the animal and hugging it wholeheartedly.
OK, who came up with that? And for the love of all that is good in this world, why? More importantly, what does it all mean? Is the Retired Pirate supposed to represent Microsoft? Is the mini man the consumer, with the fluffy bunny being the company's new portable music offering? The mind boggles.
Interpretations of just what this bizarre narrative represents are most welcome.