Microsoft’s Boring-est Catch?

Deadliest CatchMost Australian’s won’t have had the fortune of seeing Deadliest Catch – it’s a show where a bunch of blokes do blokey things on ships that are always caught in The Perfect Storm while trying to catch crabs. No joke. I’ve seen an episode and thought it was the biggest load of drivel I’ve ever seen. Well, perhaps not quite as bad as Australia’s Got Talent, but pretty bad all the same. It’s one of those shows where 13 minutes of footage and content is drawn out over a whole agonising hour. But hey, that’s just me – and what would I know, it’s actually one of the highest rating shows in the US, so it demonstrates yet again you should never trust my judgement. The show even has a blog and wiki as well as video re-runs. They’ve probably got more Web 2.0 stuff going on than most technology companies!

Which all goes to show that Microsoft’s decision to compete for (and worse, win!) the advertising rights to the show might actually be a good thing. Thanks to this post from LiveSide I learned that Microsoft went all out on winning this deal (yes, I’m resisting all fishing related terms) to the point of integrating SMS and video game sweepstakes with web site plastering of ads (on both MSN and Fox Sports pages).

Here’s what the VP of Marketing at Discovery said:

“Microsoft just came in like rock stars on this,” Donna Murphy, the Discovery Channel’s vice president of marketing strategy, said in an interview. “They were the first ones to really blow it out in every direction.”

The interesting thing in all this (besides the spell binding show of course) is that Microsoft is pushing the boundaries of advertising. And perhaps this is where the future opportunities are. Instead of just going head to head on Search advertising with its competitors, Microsoft is leveraging a number of its platforms. This will transform the industry pretty quickly. It won’t be long before a promotion is saturated across all platforms – combining business, personal and leisure activities via desktop, mobile, entertainment (consoles) and online. Prepare to be immersed. And can you think of any company that can really compete with Microsoft across all these channels simultaneously? Google may be entering the mobile market but they don’t have an entertainment console channel.

One of the key points that Microsoft mention is that this ability to work together across their divisions is a relatively new ability. Keith Lorizio (an ad VP at Microsoft) notes that separate teams handled these disparate channels, but they now have the ability to work together efficiently.

This is the start of something big.

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