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Windows 8 campaign is youthful but not charming

31-October-2012
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Windows 8 campaign is youthful but not charming

“We have reimagined Windows and the result is a stunning lineup of new PCs,” said Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer while unveiling a new operating system which is fast-paced and more mobile. The new operating system comes three years after the launch of Windows 7 and has tried to make a touchscreen-friendly OS. However, Microsoft says that Windows 8 integrates the touch, mouse and keyboard experience. The company, in partnership with its vendors, has launched 250 Windows 8 devices in India alone.

Microsoft has tied up with leading PC manufacturers such as Lenovo, Asus, Sony, Dell, Acer, Hewlett-Packard and Samsung to produce a range of tablets/ hybrids, ultrabooks and all-in-ones. All Windows 8 devices will also come with the Windows App store and some of the popular ones across categories include HT Media, Bookmyshow, Gaana, Dhingana, Zovi, Amity University, PVR and the NDTV Play App.

“Technology has enabled us to be able to use and carry multiple devices. But we at Microsoft wanted to build a platform through which a single device can be used for creation and consumption,” said Bhaskar Pramanik, Chairman, Microsoft Corporation India.

The brand recently unveiled its new commercial, titled ‘Everything at once’, conceptualised by JWT China. The ad shows the importance of this product in every facet of life and shows how users can multi-task through Windows 8 that provides a platform to bridge the gap between laptops, personal computers and tablets.

Experts speak
Saugata Bagchi, Vice President, Tribal DDB India finds the creative concept to be on the same lines of ‘a product which has a role in every facet of your life’, an oft used platform in the technology space. “The execution seems to be a little abstract and esoteric in its treatment. The casting is apt to create a connection with the audience (well-educated professionals, who are early adopters in the computers category) as they are young, look upmarket and have a trendy feel about them,” he added.

Bagchi feels that the global campaign does a better job of product positioning as the right fit in the consumer’s life. The India campaign is a little unclear while communicating the benefits. The same also holds true for the punch line – while the global TVC evocatively says ‘Everything at once’, the India line doesn’t quite have the same impact. “The music in the global TVC is also catchier and more premium sounding, while the Indian track leaves me a little confused – it just doesn’t go with the visuals,” he further said.

According to him, the India TVC needs a couple of views before the message comes across. He feels that the India TVC may not generate a huge buzz and conversation initially, but with smart POS advertising and feature driven engagement activities online, it will. “The global TVC will connect upfront – it’s a straight talking, hardworking piece of communication, talking to a much more evolved audience,” Bagchi noted.

Dharam Valia, Vice President at Ogilvy & Mather remarked, “Albert Einstein had said: ‘Creativity is intelligence having fun’. To me, these spots (global & Indian) are neither intelligent nor fun. But they could have been. They have a great track, even the line isn’t that bad. But it just doesn’t come together. I get that these are supposed to be feature films (lots of features packed in one tiny film), but I am sure there’s a simpler, charming and more creative way to do it.”

Speaking on whether the TVC has been able to convey the brand’s message, he said, “I haven’t used Win8, but have sampled the tile interface on a Nokia Lumia, and it re-positioned Microsoft’s perception in my head. What Microsoft has managed to build is a quantum leap from anything it has done before. To me, all these spots could do (with heavy GRPs) is to seed the fact that here’s a different looking Windows. But does it tell me about how exactly it is different? What’s so cool about the tiles interface? Why is it a better, more intuitive multi-screen OS experience? I’m not too sure. And that’s crucial in experiential products.” However, Valia feels that the young might connect due to the track.

Marketing mix
Sanket Akerkar, Managing Director, Microsoft Corporation India shared, “Our objective is to reach our target audience many times over the next four to six weeks. For the Indian audience, I do think that television is a crucial medium and hence, that’s clearly a preferred media from an advertising perspective.”

In order to generate awareness, the brand is targeting experiential marketing activities. Amrish Goyal, Director, Windows Business Group, Microsoft Corporation India said, “We have two tasks at hand. The first is to make people aware of the awesome experience they can have with Windows 8. For that, we absolutely need to leverage classical media such as television, radio and cinema. But, we are also recognising the fact that we have a lot of change that we need to make sure the consumers understand. And for that, driving in-store experiences is extremely important.”

Goyal explained that it is being done in two parts. The first is an experience rendered in a paid way. “We take up spaces in cinema halls, malls and IT hubs. And, the second is, inside a store when one’s deliberating a purchase. At this stage, we want to make sure there’s a demo, the 4,000 retail personnel are well trained and the customer can play with the device as well.”

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