From the Zunerama blog:
Two weeks from tomorrow, Zune will be released in the US. So where's the ad campaign from Microsoft?
Zune is a hot enough topic in the blogosphere - igniting its share of strident exchanges and flame-throwing between Zune zealots and iPod lovers.
But out there in the real world, Zune remains virtually unknown. From my informal surveys of university students, teenagers, retail clerks, friends, and relatives: most have simply not heard of Zune. Others have only the vaguest of inklings about what it is.
These are the people who are working now on their holiday shopping lists. These consumers will make or break Zune, casting its destiny as either a fringe offering or a mainstream consumer product.
When Microsoft announced Zune in its July 21 Billboard interview, the expectation was set for a “massive advertising and marketing campaign" which would be "heavily artist-centric, including several live performances nationwide.”
We're certainly getting the artist-centric part of this. It's been fascinating to see Microsoft running this novel marketing approach, through a suite of undiscovered artists.
But we envisioned this to be part of a much broader marketing push. By focusing its campaign on new content, Microsoft is targeting a narrow field: hard-core music lovers, who actively seek out new music, and others who respond well to bands, music, and settings that others might consider, well, unfamiliar... if not uncomfortably edgy.
In the past few days, a few promising signs: a smattering of Zune billboards appeared in major cities. Some bus signs in New York. A Zune commercial appeared this past weekend in movie theatres. A few Zune banners have been sighted on geeky websites like Digg.
But, so far, no TV commercials (I'm not counting the Ellen spot). No radio or print ads to speak of. No widespread Internet push.
The campaign, so far, just doesn't cater to the majority of shoppers who are going to purchase music players this holiday season.
...and Christmas is coming.