Online Marketing Example with a Halo

After I slammed Microsoft in an earlier post for their bad marketing efforts related to Windows Vista, I have today come across a great example of online marketing by Microsoft, if only it was online marketing by intent…

Halo 3What I am referring to is the great marketing effort by Microsoft Games for its newest Xbox 360 blockbuster video game Halo 3. Although I am not that much into ‘shooter’ games, even I couldn’t evade all the buzz surrounding the game. Anyway, what I was more interested in than the game itself was how it was marketed. Take a look at the videos below:


These five clips from part of a Microsoft television ad campaign. That’s right, a TV campaign. So why am I talking about them in the context of online marketing? What happened with these clips is akin to what I talked about in my last post: all ways lead to the Internet.

Although initially shown on TV, these clips were ultimately uploaded to YouTube. If you look closely, you will find that the descriptions in the titles of the videos etc show that these clips were most likely not uploaded by the Microsoft Games marketing team, but rather by enthusiasts, but this is obviously an assumption. So, here you have a big company making some, arguably, very intriguing clips, paying probably a lot of money to have them broadcast on TV (I wouldn’t argue against that, actually), only to find them on the Internet, where they probably belonged in the first place.

The essence of this post is this: Combined, these four videos above and the many many copies that exist of them on YouTube alone, have been watched by several million people by now. This cost Microsoft nothing (at least not in addition to having produced the clips). Most importantly, these people watched these videos, because they wanted to watch them. Think about it, this is highly targeted, relevant, opt-in ad watching. And its free. And that, to me, is the beauty of great online marketing.

Additional thoughts:

In essence, I think that all TV ads should probably be uploaded on YouTube by the producers. Why? It costs next to nothing to do that, so little harm done. People might pick it up, they might forward it to their friends, incorporate it in their blogs etc. If these videos are on YouTube, they might go viral amongst people who care about them. If they don’t, little is lost, I can only see a potential upside of doing it, but no downside.

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6 thoughts on “Online Marketing Example with a Halo

  1. Actually, I was really amazed by Microsoft’s Halo 3 marketing and promoting strategy. At first I thought that it will be something like Windows XP/Vista promos, but how wrong I’ve been!

    Now it seems that almost everyone is crazy about Halo: people playing online all nights, many of them bought XboX just to play Halo 3, everybody is talking about Master Chief.

    I think that next Microsoft’s move should be making a movie about Master Chief’s adventures 🙂


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