Can a Made-Up Disease Help Xerox Sell Services?

Xerox has invented a new psychological disorder in an effort to get marketers to use its services.

A slapstick Web video describing “Information Overload Syndrome,” or IOS, is aimed at getting viewers to think of Xerox (XRX) as a company that can help them manage and direct information rather than simply print or copy paperwork.

It looks like part of a trend of high-tech marketers pitching their products as cures for imaginary diseases. Microsoft recently invented “Search Overload Syndrome” — a problem that can be cured by using its new Bing search engine instead of Google (GOOG). It is spending around $100 million on the ad campaign.

Xerox is going cheap with its Web campaign. The company was once ubiquitous on television with Brother Dominic, the monk, making copies of illuminated manuscripts. Last year, Sports Illustrated rated its 1977 ad the third best Super Bowl spot of all time.

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