Microsoft Promo, Case study BRAND JOURNALISM by Blast Radius Seattle, J. Walter Thompson New York, Wunderman New York

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Industry Software & Multimedia Productions, SaaS
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Blast Radius Seattle
Agency J. Walter Thompson New York
Executive Creative Director Kash Sree. Walt Connelly, Justin Crawford
Creative Director Louis-Philippe Tremblay
Agency Wunderman New York
Released September 2009

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Social Media Marketing
Advertiser: MICROSOFT
Agency: JWT
Date of First Appearance: Sep 15 2009 12:00AM
Entrant Company: JWT, New York, USA
Entry URL:
Chief Creative Officer: Ty Montague (JWT North America)
Chief Creative Officer: Harvey Marco (JWT New York)
Executive Creative Director: Justin Crawford (JWT New York)
Executive Creative Director: Walt Connelly (JWT New York)
Chief Creative Officer: Gayle Troberman (Microsoft)
Head of Experience: Ingrid Bernstein (JWT New York)
Group Planning Director: Graham Phillips (JWT New York)
Executive Director, Experiential Messaging: Brian Clark (GMD)
Director, Global Marcom Strategy: Deana Singleton (Microsoft)
Senior Technology Editor: Kyle Monson (JWT New York)
Creative Director/Global Integration: Jim Consolantis (JWT New York)
Digital Producer: Charly Nguyen (JWT New York)
Creative Director: Louis-Philippe Tremblay (JWT New York)
Senior Advertising Manager: Kevin Basch (Microsoft)
Senior Advertising Manager: Larry Grothaus (Microsoft)
Account Manager: Michael McKloskey (JWT New York)
Production Company: (JWTwo)
Media placement: Print - Front Page Unit & Full Page Editorial - EWeek, Computer World - 19 October 2009
Media placement: Banner Ads -,,,,, - 28 September 2009
Media placement: Search - Google, Bing, Yahoo - 11 November 2009
Media placement: Blog Posts - Http:// - 15 September 2009
Media placement: Twitter - @MSFT_IT - 30 November 2009

Results and Effectiveness
In just 7 months we've become a valued resource for news and information in the tight-knit IT community, with our top bloggers averaging over 19,000 page views per post. With more than 300 blog posts published so far, we've become one of the most popular Microsoft blogs with over 1.4 million total page views, an unprecedented level of sustained audience growth in the publishing world. The IT audience is also interacting with our Microsoft experts through live chats, roundtable discussions, white papers and audiocasts, generating 8.8 million user engagements so far.

Creative Execution
We call it Brand Journalism. Each day, our dedicated agency “news team” monitors everything being said about Microsoft Enterprise Software on the Internet. We then identify which conversations we’d like to be a part of and activate bloggers from within our ecosystem of 40+ contributors—product developers, analysts, and other enthusiasts—to speak on Microsoft’s behalf. In addition to joining conversations, we also host them—having conducted 60+ audio interviews to date, live chats on publisher sites, Twitter feeds like ExecTweets IT, and roundtable discussions with industry analysts…the list goes on. Instead of trying to get people to come to us, we have gone about publishing in places where crucial decision-making conversations happen, in real time. And instead of using our media buys for advertising, we’re using them to distribute content targeted at fence-sitters across the web.

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
In the world of business technology there are three types of decision makers: people that love you, people that use your products but don’t love you, and people that prefer other products over yours. Our task? Engage the fence-sitters, and increase advocacy using more direct, targeted and one-on-one dialogue, from the inside. The challenge was getting inside. Why? IT decision makers don’t take their cues from advertising – they’re tuned in to bigger conversations, coming from real voices they respect. IT professionals want to hear from the people actually making, buying, and using technology. They inhabit an exclusive ecosystem of peer-to-peer conversations. We had to join their conversations and contribute to them. We had to augment them in real time.