Yesterday’s Microsoft’s seminar was hosted by Senior VP of Marketing, Mich Matthews. In it, she brought us through three key messages: the first around how Microsoft manages its brands as an overdog, the second on how we manage our brands as an underdog and finally some innovation in mobile and gaming that will create all kinds of opportunities for advertisers.
Although leading the market, it was decided that Microsoft would relaunch the Windows brand with the I’m a PC campaign. Mich explained how this campaign was all about showing how ordinary people helped shape the final product and contribute to the design of some cool new features. Kylie, a 5 year old user of Windows 7, became an instant hit with TV audiences around the world.
As underdogs in the Search space, Mich talked about how the release of Bing last year inspired a different marketing strategy in “disrupting an 800lb bunny rabbit”. Microsoft’s challenge was to show that all was not well with the search experience that consumers have come to know. And so the concept of “Information Overload” was born allowing the company to pitch an alternative way to complete tasks online. This Decision Engine from Microsoft has gained 4 points of share since launch and the consumer campaign continues to give Bing a firmer foothold in the market. An interesting point raised by Mich is that underdogs are allowed to be irreverent as exemplified by the very funny Los Link TV ad!
Finally, we got a perspective on how technology advancements from Microsoft will make it easier than ever for advertisers to connect with their target audiences. We saw a sneak preview of the upcoming Windows Phone product with a demo from Kostas Mallios. It’s clear that this platform will allow people to have seamless experiences and fantastic social connectivity with the apps, tiles and toasts being the standout elements of its design.
We’ve given several demos throughout the week, but the controllerless Kinect for Xbox 360 is grabbing all the headlines at Cannes.It was announced on stage that Microsoft and Burger King are partnering on a interactive game called Kinectimals. Every meal will include a furry animal that can be “scanned” into the game and then becomes a virtual friend that can be interacted with on screen.
Check out Mel’s interview with Mich for more insight into her presentation and Microsoft’s approach to digital marketing.