A blonde woman clad in a yellow tracksuit wielding a samurai sword takes measured steps onto the welcome screen of iCU2011. “Welcome to the second virtual Uniface user conference,” she says. Though she is not the “Kill Bill” star who made this particular ensemble famous, the information technology audience watching likely recognizes the founder of newspepper.com and techfluff.tv from her appearance in the Quentin Tarantino-inspired ads for the event.
“We made a series of viral videos,” says Zul-yaka Martis, marketing campaign manager for the Uniface product division at software development company Compuware Corp. “We used our developers, customers, people from the industry [and] analysts as actors.”
The third installment in the series, which saw the Java Assassination Squad bolstered by the Uniface style and poised to take over the world, drew more than 1,000 unique views within the first month it was released, Martis said.
It also highlighted an underlying strength in Compuware's approach to its virtual events, said Joerg Rathenberg, VP-marketing at Unisfair, an Intercall company that provides virtual events solutions. Compuware customizes the virtual setting, incorporating the faces of its employees throughout the experience. The crowd of people who stand bobbing in conversation behind the host on the welcome screen all work for Compuware. High-end video embedded in the booths and live video question-and-answer sessions at the end of the presentations increase engagement.