Microsoft Design & Branding THE BRUTALITY OF MIX ONLINE by Alt Group

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Industry Software & Multimedia Productions, SaaS, Stationery
Media Design & Branding
Market New Zealand
Agency Alt Group
Executive Creative Director Jonathan Butts
Illustrator Aaron Sather
Released June 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Stationery
Agency: ALT.
Date of First Appearance: Jun 18 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: ALT., Oakland , USA
Executive Creative Director: Jonathan Butts (alt.)
Art Director & Designer: Shawn Poe (alt.)
Production Manager: Gina Markovich (alt.)
Illustrator: Aaron Sather (alt.)
President & Account Director: Steve Franklin (alt.)
Account Manager: Stephanie Sohol (alt.)
Media placement: Stationary — Notebook - Direct Mail & Events - June 18, 2009
Media placement: Stationary — Notecard/Letterhead - Direct Mail - June 18, 2009
Media placement: Stationary — Stickers - Direct Mail & Events - June 18, 2009
Media placement: Stationary — Buttons - Events - June 18, 2009
Media placement: Stationary — Business Cards - In Person - June 18, 2009
Media placement: Stationary — Mailing Labels - Direct Mail - June 18, 2009
Describe the challenges and key objectives
Challenge: How do you convince hip artists and designers, many of whom dislike your organisation, that you have something of value to offer?Microsoft hosts a major event and runs an online community for digital developers and designers called MIX. Developers love it, but when it comes to designers THE BRUTAL TRUTH is that they see Microsoft as being largely irrelevant, out of touch and 'un-cool.'Objective: Create a set of collateral that's so amazing, designers will be fighting to get their hands on it.
Describe the brief from the client
MIX ONLINE, is not your typical Microsoft organisation. So this campaign should not be typical either. We need to connect with Developers and most importantly with Digital Designers to prove that we are a creative community worthy of their time. We want to create a collateral and event outreach program that excites, intrigues and informs our audience using content and some of the branding from our MIX ONLINE web site.So what if the content from our site fell into Alice in Wonderland's rabbit hole and became a complete set of collateral materials?
Describe how you arrived at the final design
To change audience perceptions, we created a campaign no one would ever guess came out of the world’s largest technology corporation.We leveraged two cute, MIX mascots, Mushroom Man and Lavender Frog, and took them to some very edgy and interesting places. The primary campaign component was a high-end, case bound notebook for Designers and Developers to record their brilliant ideas. Additional collateral executions included badges, buttons, plus MIX team business cards and letterhead. Digital executions included Twitter skins, e-mail templates, online avatars, and more.
Give some indication of how successful the outcome was in the market
The campaign was kicked off by sending the high-end notebooks to influential figures in the Digital Design community and to top bloggers around the world. Within 24 hours a multitude of blog articles and Tweets had been posted, raving about the new materials. The collateral quickly became a collector’s item among MIX event attendees. And the posts from designers started to roll in, begrudgingly admitting that the new promotional materials were very, very cool.