Credits: Client: Microsoft Outlook Agency: Cole & Weber United Executive Creative Director: John Maxham Associate Creative Director/Art Director: Scott Fero Associate Creative Director: Jeff Siegel Executive Producer: Pete Anderson Production Company: Brand New School Partner: Britt Peterson Business Manager: Meghan Ragsdale Senior Project Manager: Erin Keeley
The Challenge: Over half a billion people use Microsoft Office everyday and most would tell you they couldn’t get by without it. It’s useful and respected. But it’s also seen as a work utility that’s old and boring. That’s particularly true for Microsoft Outlook. Outlook is synonymous with work email. Work being the key word.
Our challenge was to put some human connection back into the product and turn users into fans again.
The Idea: We knew the typical “perception-changing” approach of using TV ads to tell people how Outlook really could be used for more than email and that it really could be fun wouldn’t prove successful. Instead, we used Facebook to change opinions and bring the new features of Outlook 2010 out of work and into people’s daily lives and conversations. Facebook wasn’t new. Outlook wasn’t new. But putting the two together was.
We created a fun and engaging platform that allowed people to play with new Outlook features like “conversation clean up” and “blocking/ignoring” in relation to their Facebook messages. As you used the features, the Outlook Creature Creator tamed your Facebook communications by allowing you to create a cuter, more loveable creature thanks to Outlook.
We drove engagement by enabling users to turn different features on and off to change their creature. They played with their creature. And importantly, they shared their creature with their friends. They literally took the Outlook experience out of work and into their lives.
The Results: We gave people a new experience with the Outlook product to talk about, and it worked. The average time spent with the Creature Creator was 2 – 3 minutes. That level of brand engagement would have cost nearly $1-1.5MM in traditional media, and we still wouldn’t have had the same type of committed involvement. Our interaction rates were 5-6x longer than Microsoft gets on their other Facebook product pages. And, we’ve seen double digit increases in fan conversion through this experience.