• Billy Mays to Pitch Microsoft Zune HD

“Billy Mays, here, for Microsoft’s amazing new entertainment device,” will be the new audio refrain soon blasting out of TVs far and wide.

Microsoft has hired the omnipresent pitchmen Billy Mays to help convince a skeptical public to buy its new handheld media device, the Zune HD. The company is hoping Mays will be able to do for Zune HD what he has done for other products, such as OxiClean.

The move represents what some analysts deem to be a natural progression for Microsoft’s advertising campaigns. “They are following one of the basic tenants of advertising and promotion theory,” says Professor Jim Work of the Wharton School of Business. “Microsoft first started with a series of Jerry Seinfeld commercials that were about as easy for the general public to understand as a Jackson Pollock painting or a voicemail message from Bob Dylan. When that failed, Microsoft decided to put itself in the customer’s shoes with people trying to find low-cost computers that, coincidentally, were unavailable in Apple form. Finally, the company has decided to throw caution to the wind with the incessant yelling of Billy Mays.”

Whether or not this strategy will work remains unclear. Few doubt Mays’ ability to sell new products to the public. However, the products he usually pitches fill voids in the marketplace, with Mays playing the role of educator, helping people solve problems with which they can readily identify. In this case, however, the Microsoft Zune HD is attempting to go up against an established competitor in the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch.

Apple doesn’t seem to be very worried about the upcoming Zune. Previous versions have failed to put much of a dent in any of the iPod line. Sales seem to have been restricted to Bill Gates’ children (who the billionaire refuses to allow own any Apple devices) and those still hoping that HD DVD will beat out Blu-ray in the format wars.

Also, with Apple holding, and vowing to vigorously defend, the patents on multi-touch techniques for portable devices, it is unclear how Microsoft plans to make the Zune HD more user-friendly than the iPod Touch. All these complications ensure that Mays has his work cut out for him with this product, but it would be foolish to count him out just yet. The full specifications for the Zune HD haven’t been released. If it turns out the unit is able to help vacuum up red wine spills, Mays might just have a shot.

[• This story, marked with a • is weekend entertainment content only and should not to be considered factual ]

  • falchard
    I never wanted a Zune more.
  • MrF430
    I cant wait! I do however think that B Mays might not be the right person to pitch the Zune HD! I mean, if he does it like the OxyClean commercials then it might cheapen (to the mass demographic aka unaware public) peoples perception of the Zune HD to that of a cheaply made piece of junk sold on an infomercial. The fact is that the character/persona of B Mays will automatically invoke that feeling in a lot of people!

    I think with the uphill battle the Zune HD has against the iPod touch, MS should take every precaution to avoid harming or tarnishing the device launch or, most importantly, its (product) public perception!
  • my_name_is_earl
    What's freakier than this guy? That Shamwow guy :)
  • ThePatriot
    Another failure in the making?
  • enyceckk101
    I can't wait for " Will it blend "

    sry, I just woke up and that was my first thing on my mind.
  • MS has hired Billy Mays ??? Seriously ??? In that case, I'll never buy any MS product again !!! Can't stand the man. If EVER that was a pitchman who annoyed me, he's it. The only one I can think of who's worse is the stupidly "Smilin' Bob" Enzite man.
  • donkeypunch
    I couldn't believe this guy pitched health insurance too. He just doesn't seem to fit that role. Stick to selling orange scented douche that can also clean your carpet and be used as salad dressing Mr. Billy Mays.
  • blackened144
    my_name_is_earlWhat's freakier than this guy? That Shamwow guyEven freakier than that is Shamwow guy after he got his tongue bit off by the hooker here in Miami. I dont know how much tongue was bitten off, but I dont think he will be pitching anything soon.
  • IzzyCraft
    Oh SHI- apple is F#@&ed now t-t
  • Oknarf
    People, read please before commenting: ""