Microsoft Woos Consumers with Delightful Distractions
This campaign faced a formidable challenge—getting people to switch from their Apple iPhones or Android smartphones to the Microsoft Lumia. However, since more than 93 percent of U.S. computer users are on a Windows operating system, the idea of switching to the only phone with seamless Microsoft Office integration was extremely compelling.
So, Microsoft set out to show in a new light how Lumia smartphones, Microsoft Office and productivity work in perfect harmony. In a busy business district in downtown Boston, Microsoft activated an oasis from the regular 9-to-5, complete with a pool, grass, “cabanicles,” (part cabana, part cubicle) and free Wi-Fi. Twelve office workers were challenged to complete tasks on the Lumia while getting distracted by some of the most awesome stuff available—puppies, the pool, even tattoos–to prove that they could stay productive on a mobile device. Among the challenges: Create a PowerPoint presentation in a pen of puppies and win a swimming pool relay race while completing sum functions in Excel.
The technology enabled Microsoft to show personalization on a large scale without having consumers divulge their interests. Thus, the stunt had an element of surprise and delight, and people learned about personalization while being entertained. By combining Windows 8.1 technology with an entertaining competition, the single-day activation achieved 700-plus one-on-one demos and reached 15,000 locals, which was twice its goal. Puppies!