Cannes Lions


HUB STRATEGY, San Francisco / MICROSOFT / 2011

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Microsoft was launching a totally new mobile OS (Windows Phone 7) and was enlisting a broad range of influential bloggers to help spread the word by doing a Windows Phone 7 giveaway. But these high-profile bloggers get free stuff all of the time and Microsoft was worried they might be ignored. The brief asked us to create something that would ensure the bloggers would take notice of the phone and that would help make the giveaway a success.


The most unique thing about Windows Phone 7 is its “live tile” UI design. The world had not seen anything like this before as everyone was just mimicking iPhone’s UI. We used these flat, green, square “tiles” as our starting point. We knew we needed a box to hold the phone and we knew we wanted to do something very handmade as many of the most influential bloggers were in the art, design, and craft genre. This lead us to handcrafted shadowboxes. From there it was just a matter of determining how to customise each shadowbox for each blogger.


The shadowboxes clearly got the bloggers’ attention. A number of bloggers actually took photos of their shadowbox and posted the details (some even tweeted) about how it perfectly reflected their personal image, interests, and blog content. They all seemed quite surprised that such a piece was coming from Microsoft. The giveaway was a big success with literally hundreds of participants per blog. And, lastly, the shadowboxes were featured on several design and media blogs (not included in the giveaway) – many calling out how unexpected it was for Microsoft to do something so personal and handcrafted.

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