See How Microsoft is Marketing Windows 11 | The Salesmark

See How Microsoft is Marketing Windows 11

See How Microsoft is Marketing Windows 11

Microsoft will use tonight’s NFL season opener to begin hyping Windows 11 via a fantastical ad that seeks to inject the operating system with a calming vibe.

The new version won’t begin rolling out until Oct. 5, but Microsoft is using the game’s expected massive viewership draw to build buzz for the Windows upgrade, which includes features meant to make multitasking easier, which has become a necessity as more people work from home during the pandemic. That includes functions meant to better organize and navigate between multiple windows open at once. Microsoft has also plugged features it says to provide for a better gaming experience, including a wider range of colors.

The ad, which comes from McCann New York and is directed by Tarsem Singh, begins by showing a woman sitting alone in a darkened room. She opens up her laptop and is taken to an otherworldly experience that dramatizes windows functions. The spot plugs gaming functions via a cameo that teases the “Warthog” all-terrain vehicle that will be in the next installment of the “Halo” game due out later this year. The ad’s soundtrack is “All Starts Now” by Odessa.

The operating system is “all about the experience, it’s all about feeling it— and that is what we really wanted to come across in the ad, the feeling of immersion and fluidity,” says Kathleen Hall, Microsoft’s corporate VP for the brand, advertising, and research.

“The way we all live now in our PCs, you get deep, you get immersed sometimes,” she adds. “The more we can do to kind of get out of the way to facilitate your own flow is really what the philosophy of the operating system is all about. We try to depict that in that ad and that is why we went on this fantastic journey.”

The campaign includes media buys on YouTube, Snapchat, Reddit, Instagram, and TikTok, as well as outdoor ads in major cities including New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

The hype for Windows releases might never again reach the level achieved 26 years ago when Windows 95 came out. It was backed by a massive campaign that made use of the Rolling Stones’ “Start me up,”  as well as “Friends” stars Jennifer Anniston and Mathew Perry.

But the operating system upgrades remain a significant priority for Microsoft, which according to CNBC still generates 14% of its revenue from Windows. The last version, Windows 10, came out in 2015.

“Windows is no longer the beating heart of Microsoft; the company has diversified its offerings, with cloud services such as Azure or Microsoft 365 playing a more central role in the company’s revenue generation and growth,” J. P. Gownder, a principal analyst at Forrester, stated in an email interview.

“That said, Windows remains relevant, both to Microsoft and to users: We learned during the pandemic that, for all the time we spend on our phones, PCs play a huge role in connecting workers (and consumers) digitally. Windows PCs will be central to the success of the biggest change in a generation to how we work—hybrid work that spans home offices and company offices,” Gownder said.

Curiosity about the latest version is exemplified by the nearly 7 million views drawn by a video Microsoft posted on YouTube in late June that plugs Windows 11 features.

The campaign comes two days after the company announced Microsoft Start, a personalized news feed that integrates with Windows 11 and curates content from more than 1,000 global publishing brands.

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