Cannes Lions

Surface Remote Experience Kits

INTERCEPT, Toronto / MICROSOFT / 2022

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

Selling the Touch and Feel of Microsoft Surface

If you’ve ever picked up a Microsoft Surface, you know it’s something special – it’s a tablet that can fully replace your laptop.

The quality and craftmanship are apparent the moment you pick up and feel the device in your hands.

Based on sales feedback, if you can get a customer to touch the device, the chances of ultimately closing the deal are much greater.

That's why Surface adopted the strategy of making an appearance at many industry tradeshows and ran an extensive demo device program.

COVID-19—Now What?

Enter COVID-19, shutting down in-person events, customer meetings, immersion experiences at the Microsoft Technology Centre, and every other in-person interaction.

How do you sell Surface without the touch factor?

We needed to find another way to get devices into the hands of IT executives and decision-makers.

Idea

We’ll Come to You

If they couldn’t come to us, we decided to go to business and IT executives.

The problems we needed to solve were how to reach people who were no longer working in the office and create a rich experience that delivered the same value as an in-person interaction.

Turnkey Customer Experience – Order, Use, Return

Customers requested a kit from our microsite, and just like their Amazon purchases, they got it in two days.

When they were done with it, they made a call. The kit was picked up from their home and returned to our warehouse to be sterilized, reset, and recirculated.

Strategy

Embracing Our Audience’s New Realities and Routines

Customers were spending significantly more time at webinars and virtual events. But it was getting significantly harder for them to stay focused.

So, we thought we could help by building a Surface Experience Kit designed to optimize their virtual event experiences.

It contained a device, headphones, digital pen, and ergonomic mouse – everything they needed to get the most from their virtual events.

When they turned on the device, they found a OneNote template that was ready to collect important notes and reminders.

Our Sales Targets

Our new strategy needed to be:

1. National – reaching 20 cities across Canada

2. Revenue generating – driving $500,000 in sales

Execution

A True Customer-First Experience

The word “experience” was key to the concept of our Surface Experience Kits.

It started with customers visiting a landing page to request a kit.

Branded communications confirmed their request and estimated date of delivery.

Worthy of an Unbox Video

The kit was sleek minimalist design and included custom slots for Surface Headphones 2, a Surface Arc Mouse, Surface Pen, the Surface itself, and assorted cables.

The lid of the matte black box, included the message “Creativity Awaits.”

Inside, each device carried a label: "Surface Sterilized: This Surface has been cleaned with disinfectant” to ensure users could experience the device with peace of mind.

Easy Returns and an Easier Way to Buy

After the virtual event, customers repacked the kit and applied the pre-paid shipping label.

A sales rep followed up after the experience to gauge customer interest in purchasing Surface devices for their organizations.

Outcome

Doubled Our Reach

We delivered Surface Experience Kits across 38 Canadian cities – nearly double the 20 cities target we set out.

90% of recipients agreed that Surface was better than their current personal device. And they rated the kits 4.5 stars out of 5.

Tripled Our Revenue

The kits drove $1.5 million in revenue, 3X our target of $500K.

This proved to be one the highest ROI campaigns on device sales ever executed by Microsoft Canada.

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