A Kin to Something I Might Actually Want

4:37:00 PM

Product launches are so often slimy in their approach to WOW or be cool, especially when they are looking to out hype their rival.  Sports drinks and video games are unabashedly manipulative, but when talking about tech products, it gets even hairier.  Which is why I was so impressed today when I followed a simple click through for the Kin.  Now, I am an iPhone user and probably won't be switching anytime soon (especially not with the new 4G double camera model coming out sometime before 2020), but I am interested in all the devices that I acknowledge as better than the iPhone in many ways.  The Kin campaign, known from here on out as "the journey," got my interest immediately.

First noticed on the iLike site (after uninstalling the iLike sidebar for reasons that I told the website redirect were related to it slowing down my system) which redirected me to MySpace, a little website that used to, I guess, service the social networking crowd, I clicked play and watched the first trailer.  I must admit, the tag on the whole campaign really caught my interest.  It speaks to a philosophical question that is both timely and wise to explore: Who are our online friends and are they really friends?  You then look down and see Rosa looking up at you and she is your daughter or girlfriend or neighbor or what have you.  Identifiable, archetypal.

The journey examines many of the faces that are our social network.  The ex, the flirt (the word "stalker" is currently unacceptable after Kelly Oxford rocked the tweet and got lashed from some concerned folks with dried up humor reserves), the mom or quirky adult figure, and, well, that's it for now.  I believe they are releasing 2 episodes a week for 8 weeks until the official product launch. I have a read several ad blogs and branding blogs and they all seem to be just as impressed as I am with the campaign.  The gist being that "the journey" doesn't hit you over the head with either branding or product placement.  It is coming at you with a strictly webisode style promotion, like: "here's Rosa, she's sweet, she's real, she's got a KIN and we're taking her around to answer some questions about where we are at with social networking."  It's perhaps not a new approach, but it worked for me.  Just watching some of the very well placed shots of the KIN doing things and running applications made me want one.  It actually did its job without having to try to suck my soul through a straw.

Apparently, agency two fifteen (formerly T.A.G) has signed on with Microsoft to really push in a new direction.  If they do end up sucking my soul through a straw, then, well played, agency two fifteen.  Your oddly all-numeric new name is creepy enough to bring back some X-Files imagery, but you are doing the job that needs to be done without making me feel owned.  In the meantime, I'll be waiting for the next installment of Rosa's Big Adventure.

I have reached out to Rosa on Facebook to see if she might be up for an interview on the campaign and will follow up accordingly.

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