Cannes Lions

THE BROWSER YOU LOVED TO HATE

MICROSOFT ADVERTISING, Redmond / MICROSOFT / 2013

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Description

The "Browser You Loved to Hate" social campaign appeared predominantly in the United States. It relied on social media, including Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and Youtube for the majority of its traffic. In the United States today, branded entertainment is quickly becoming a key part of any major marketing plan, not only to augment traditional advertising, but also to reach niche audiences by creating targeted content. This content no longer needs to follow the rules of traditional advertising, but can instead be truly customized to the target audience’s needs. From platform to format – there are endless options and opportunities to engage in new and innovative ways. The "Browser You Loved to Hate" campaign is a perfect example of this - with little to no paid media, the campaign engaged millions of young influential users simply because the content appealed to them. The content was created with them in mind and hence was reflective of what they cared about.

We faced no restrictions imposed by any regulating body in the United States in relation to this campaign.

Execution

Over the past year the "Browser You Loved to Hate" campaign created innovative, and at times controversial content – specifically tailored to appeal to the target audience. For the video, ‘Do you know this guy’ we drew in the audience by taking a risk and proclaiming in the voice of a hater that ‘IE sucks.’ This was a very risky strategy given it was not only unapologetically self-deprecating, but it also questioned some of the hater's complaints. It was successful because it struck such an authentic, honest tone and was truly reflective of the interchange between the haters and Internet Explorer.

Outcome

This campaign was very successful in reconnecting with young influential users, an audience for whom Internet Explorer is far from top of mind. First in terms of simple reach, we have accumulated over 25m video views, 2.5m unique visitors to "Browser You Loved to Hate" and over 750,000 social shares. The reaction among this target audience has also been overwhelmingly positive across social media and points to a new pattern of positivity surrounding Internet Explorer and its more recent product releases. Here are some examples from Twitter:

"browseryoulovedtohate.com/ IE might actually be becoming self-aware. Maybe I don't have to hate as much anymore. It's so tiring. Web = Love” and “Is it bad that I started loving Internet explorer 10 after watching this?”

At the same time, we have seen the highest Internet Explorer share in over a year with over 55.82% of worldwide browser usage in February. The "Browser You Loved to Hate" campaign has played an important role in changing the perception of Internet Explorer worldwide and we expect to continue to see strong returns from this campaign in the future, continuing to encourage users to reconnect with Internet Explorer.

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