MSN Video Promoting Spaces and Splenda

gibsonGuitar_200x75.jpgI’ve been checking out MSN’s Jazz Fest video streams (see ClickZ story on this). My first reaction: Bruce Springsteen needs no more promotion. The main page highlights two songs from his festival performance. There are already two Bob Dylans: Tom Petty and Robert Zimmerman. We don’t need a third.

But I digress.

They announced they’ve gotten over 845,000 streams and over 1.2 million page views since the launch last weekend.

I’ve noticed a couple of interesting things: There’s a link in the video player window to “The Microsoft MSN Video 2006 Jazz Fest Trivia Sweepstakes.” It looks like the prize is a Gibson geetar (with an MSN logo on it – ?). The interesting part is that the link goes to an MSN Spaces blog post by someone who calls herself the “Dish Diva” and writes about entertainment and celebrities. Of course, she’s a Microsoft employee hired to post about and link to MSN entertainment content (recent posts feature a “Hoot” movie contest and an X-Men stars Q&A promo).

Another interesting tidbit: There are display ads within the video player linking to videos labeled as paid placements. Both advertainment/advertorial features tell tales of how Splenda has changed people’s lives. There’s a family concocting a good-for-you apple dessert, with Splenda, packages of the product prominently displayed on the counter in one shot. There’s another mini film called “King of the World” featuring a cute li’l kid named Nick who did a science project comparing Splenda to sugar for use in baked goods. The irony is that in parts of the short he’s dressed in army fatigues for Halloween: the most sugar-laden day of the year!

Anyway, don’t bother trying to watch any of the Jazz Fest videos or the Splenda vids or the video of Rumsfeld promoted in hilarious juxtaposition with the Springsteen clips in Firefox. It’s IE only.

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