Hotwire | Case study Microsoft - Hotwire


campaign reach for Microsoft

The challenge

Microsoft recognised that the rules of the game had changed as the media landscape and consumer attitudes towards brand marketing have evolved. They were keen to try a radically different approach for the launch, using social media as its main launch platform for the first time.

We were appointed to lead this ‘social first’ integrated campaign, which involved managing traditional media and PR agencies.

Microsoft wanted to communicate how the cloud-based Office 365 software helps you do more at work, at home and on the move. In other words, they wanted to position Office 365 as part of people’s everyday lives and give it a human face. The campaign needed to grab the attention of consumers, engage them and ultimately drive downloads of the new product.

"A team of social media celebrities was hired to deliver five-minute 'Ignite' talks from a moving London Bus, all the time connected through the cloud."


Our answer

First, we looked at the best way to reach digital and other audiences. We decided that most powerful way was to show, not tell. This meant the campaign needed to show and involve people in experiencing how Office 365 could fit into and improve their busy work and home lives.

Then, we developed our creative idea to launch on the move and base our campaign around this. We used one of London’s iconic Routemaster buses to do this. The bus was the focal point for an integrated campaign involving social and media influencers, a consumer competition and creating content.

We planned a day-long launch and named our bus the Route 365, using the name in URLs and hashtags.

A team of social media celebrities was hired to deliver five-minute “Ignite” talks from a moving London Bus, all the time connected through the cloud. All this was live-streamed to show off the capabilities of Office 365 on the move. The “Ignite” talks use 20 slides auto-forwarding every 15 seconds for five minutes. This created high-energy, dramatic performances by social media influencers, which were perfect for streaming.

Rugby legend Will Greenwood spoke about how he used technology to report from the British Lions tour. Sally Whittle, prominent mummy-blogger, told people how she uses social media and technology to balance her career and parenthood. TV celebrity Tess Daly talked about being a busy entrepreneur, TV personality and mum

We designed a responsive microsite that combined a Bing Maps mash-up with the live streams of their talks, so that people could follow the event as it moved. The microsite encouraged conversations about Office 365 helping people keep track of the small things in life, online, on the move and on the bus.

A photo competition was amplified by a paid Twitter promotion. We also had an artist on board to draw scenes from the route of the bus. He uploaded them live, using Office 365 of course. They were then automatically tweeted to followers of the event on social media.

The Results

As part of planning this integrated campaign we created a model to predict levels of response based on our previous experience of social media events. Using this we set a range of measurable targets to help manage the campaign and evaluate its impact:

  • Reach: 1m people on day of launch, with a 60:40 female:male split
  • 30,000 visits to the website
  • 5,000 engagements by the public on social media (likes/shares/ 
  • retweets/posts/comments/photos shared)
  • 90% positive or neutral sentiment on social media

The campaign exceeded virtually all of our targets on launch day:

  • Reach: 1,174,402
  • Reach breakdown: 967,000 Twitter and 206,000 Facebook with a 58:42 
  • female:male gender split
  • 80,000 video views
  • Website visits: 28,000
  • Engagement: 5,218 (975 Twitter, 2,279 Facebook, 1,964 images)
  • Sentiment: 98% positive or neutral
  • 1,650 downloads of the software

Three weeks after the launch the momentum we created digitally and in other media, gave Microsoft

  • Reach: 2,926,193
  • Engagement: 40,971
  • Sentiment: 99% positive or neutral

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