Microsoft maintains its consumer focus in holiday Windows display

Microsoft knew that to reach a broad audience during the Windows 7 launch, it needed to tell a story beyond the new technology.

Client: Microsoft (Redmond, WA)
PR agency: Waggener Edstrom Worldwide (Seattle and Portland, OR)
Campaign: Microsoft and Saks Fifth Avenue Bring Holiday 'Windows' to Life
Duration: November-December 2009
Budget: $125,000

Microsoft knew that to reach a broad audience during the Windows 7 launch, it needed to tell a story beyond the new technology. As such, the company built on Windows' ongoing brand campaign spotlighting customers, says Janelle Poole, director of PR for Microsoft Windows.

Strategy
With AOR Waggener Edstrom, the team partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue to help Microsoft leverage holiday shopping traffic, engage passersby by integrating product in store windows, and develop desktop themes based on window elements, like children's book Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Flake.

"We thought, 'How could we give them the opportunity to touch and feel Windows 7?'" says Tiffany Cook, SVP at WE.

Tactics
Microsoft developed a microsite with a downloadable "Twinkle Wish" desktop theme pack. In-store lounges were also created to encourage consumers to try the product and tweet holiday wishes using #holidaywindows. Store windows also displayed tweets on a monitor.

The team used Facebook and YouTube and worked with Saks' PR division on outreach to the fashion press, tech media, and national publications.

Results
In one month, 317,365 theme-pack downloads were generated, as were 632,000 tweets, 37,936 YouTube views, 104 broadcast stories, and media placements in outlets like the New York Post and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. About 600 customers visited the Microsoft Lounge, with 450 performing product demos. Future
The team will continue to look for ways to engage consumers.

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