Look! Up in the sky! It's customer service.
You don't normally associate humor with business software, but social and cloud computing juggernaut Salesforce has just launched a Web campaign last week -- and it's funny. Salesforce has created Desk.com Labs -- an absurd, fictional lab "high atop the world's tallest mountain." In their first video they drop a lab assistant out of an airplane.. and there promise to be more hijinks. Lab chief and mad scientist Dr. Ryan Ruttledge has one job description: cook up the kookiest experiments to make what he calls "tools to perform the most awesome customer service on the planet".
Desk.com, for those who don't live startup culture, is the go-to customer service tool used by the startup-erati like Twitter, Yelp, Vimeo, Spotify and hundreds of others.
Salesforce has created a deep back story that makes it clear they're investing in their fictional lab for the long term. You'll also meet slightly hapless lab assistant John who might just be the most dedicated customer service professional, well, "on the planet". John has always wanted to please. His first customers, he says, were his parents. And he cut his teeth pleasing them. Now John's number one customer is Dr. Ruttledge. And in this first experiment he happily leaps from an aircraft to test the ease of use of Desk.com's latest feature.
It's exciting to see a big company like Salesforce having fun -- and in a way, really embracing its startup roots. Who remembers the start of Salesforce when Marc Benioff took to the sky to take aim at the the status quo?
While many startups have taken to the viral airwaves of YouTube and Facebook to pitch their products with clever and fun campaigns, it's still relatively rare for large so-called "enterprise" tech companies such as Salesforce.com to take these sort of creative risks. Desk.com, however, is very much a startup within Salesforce. They were recently acquired (as Assistly) by Salesforce.
See more of Dr. Ryan and John on Facebook. Desk.com created the campaign with the help of SF startup creative agency Rassak Experience
Follow Greg Voakes on Twitter: www.twitter.com/gvoakes