Thursday, October 4, 2012

Case Study No. 0566: Ms. Dewey

Ms. Dewey story
NBC-TV Newschannel Internet Correspondent "PC Mike" Wendland's profile of the Ms. Dewey site... she's hot, the Microsoft search engine isn't.
Tags: msdewey dewey wendland
Added: 5 years ago
From: ocsmike
Views: 13,091

[scene opens with footage of "Miss Dewey" playing on a computer screen]
MS DEWEY: Hello?
[she waves and points to the bottom of the screen]
MS DEWEY: Type something here!
[the camera pans down to the input box, which reads "Ms. Dewey, Just Tell Me"]
PC MIKE: [in voice over] You are looking at a runaway online star.
[cut to footage of the site's load screen (which features Miss Dewey using a finger to nudge the progress bar forward]
PC MIKE: [in voice over] Cute, sexy, funny, and the buzz of the internet. Her name is Miss Dewey, and she's the star of a new search engine launched by - believe it or not - Microsoft.
[cut to footage of Miss Dewey responding to a search request for the term "Microsoft"]
MS DEWEY: Dewey says, "Never use pirated software." Unless it's mapping software ... I figure pirates know something about that.
[cut to footage of Miss Dewey standing next to a motorcycle, holding a wrench]
PC MIKE: [in voice over] The site is being promoted through what's known as viral marketing ... word of mouth, forwarded emails, and media stories rather than outright advertising.
[cut to footage of an uploaded YouTube video ("Ms Dewey wants you!") featuring Miss Dewey]
PC MIKE: [in voice over] Miss Dewey, in reality actress Janina Gavankar, has over six hundred video interactions that took three days to shoot.
[cut to footage of displaying the text "Ms. Dewey is thinking ... " while she flicks a rubber band at the screen]
PC MIKE: [in voice over] She gets impatient when you take too long entering your search info ...
[cut to footage of Miss Dewey "tapping the glass" of the user's computer screen]
MS DEWEY: Anyone there?
PC MIKE: [in voice over] And sometimes offers her own response to your searches. Like this one ... "What is the meaning of life?"
[cut to footage of Miss Dewey responding]
MS DEWEY: It's the same old story. Guy sees girl, guy gets girl, girl gets ripped to shreds by horribly disfigured psychopathic monkey ... Guy gets monkey.
[cut to more footage of Miss Dewey YouTube videos being uploaded]
PC MIKE: [in voice over] She is so hot, that fan sites are now cropping up online about her. And on YouTube, she's so popular that followers are swapping their favorite Miss Dewey moments.
[cut to Mike Wendland speaking directly to the camera]
PC MIKE: While Miss Dewey may be hot, but the search engine for Microsoft ... mmm, not so hot.
[he laughs]
PC MIKE: But that's not why people go there, they go to see Miss Dewey! And if you wanna check her out, I've built a direct link in to the Miss Dewey website on my PC Mike weblog.
["www dot pcmike dot com" appears on screen]
PC MIKE: There's my address, right there on your screen. Till next time, I'm Mike Wendland, for NBC News.



Ms. Dewey: The saucy search-engine librarian

Google? Yahoo? Dogpile? BO-RING! Who says a search engine can't be innovative, entertaining, and easy on the eyes? That's the idea behind Ms. Dewey, a comely, "interactive" librarian who stands around waiting for you to type a search term—and throws out the occasional smart remark if you take too long. Fairly funny stuff, though you'll want to keep the volume low if you're at work; she's pretty chatty. And although nothing she says deserves more than a PG rating, this is definitely a site aimed at grownups (and, let's be honest, male grownups).



Ms. Dewey was a viral marketing campaign started by Microsoft in October 2006. It also refers to the character of the same name, who is the campaign's main subject. The Ms. Dewey website was an Adobe Flash-based experimental interface for Live Search. The interface features a modern-looking cityscape as a backdrop with the character on the left side, while the search results appear on the right. The cityscape backdrop changed depending on the time of day.

Developed by advertising agency, McCann-Erickson, San Francisco and digital content marketing firm, "EVB San Francisco", Ms. Dewey appeared to be an interactive search assistant who audibly commented on searched keywords in her own style and made random actions when idle, including taking props from behind her desk. The responses actually consisted of about 600 video clips recorded over a period of three days.

Microsoft did not overtly market the website, and appeared to be relying on media coverage to draw users in. Janina Gavankar played the role of the Ms. Dewey character.

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