Microsoft Promo, Case study CRACKING THE CODE OF LOVE by UM

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Industry Software & Multimedia Productions, SaaS
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency UM
Released March 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Business Products & Services
Advertiser: MICROSOFT
Product/Service: SOFTWARE
Date of First Appearance: Mar 21 2010
Entrant Company: UM, New York, USA
Director, Central Marketing Group: Helen Du (Microsoft)
General Manager, Developer & Platform Evangelism: Enwei Xie (Microsoft)
Marketing Manager, Central Marketing Group: Sunnie Shen (Microsoft)
Senior Product Marketing Manager, Developer & Platform Evangelism: Peter Hu (Microsoft)
Group Business Director: Sky Hsiao
Associate Planning Director: Peng Peng
Planning Director: Tina Shieh
Planning Supervisor: Jane Feng
Planner: Sarah Zou
Media placement: Online videos - Youku, - March 21, 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
MICROSOFT wanted to strike it big with the 2010 version of its leading software product, Visual Studio 2010. Software developers, a niche group among IT professionals estimated at 1.5 million (Beijing Statistics Bureau – 2009), are the primary users of Visual Studio. Our research into the lives of Chinese professional developers led us to the insight that they spend long hours coding, with little time to dedicate to other aspects of their life like finding and developing relationships. Our audience already had complete “IT overload”. UM needed a creative way to deliver MICROSOFT’s desired technical messages, but in a way that software developers could stomach. Otherwise, conventional media tactics would fall on deaf ears. Our insight was that to engage developers we would have to craft a human story, one that could foster an emotional connection with Visual Studio 2010.

Creative Execution
We created a 5-episode love story – one for each technical feature MICROSOFT wanted to communicate – involving a developer and his girlfriend, which we seeded on China's leading video portal. Over the course of these episodes, we showcased the life of a typical developer – crafting the human element – and we relayed how VS10 can help developers balance their work and life – fostering the emotional connection. In the first episode, the girlfriend complains to her boyfriend that he never answers her calls in a timely manner. In another episode, we profiled HEIL, a new feature in VS10 that considerably improves response time. Other episodes featured Visual Studio’s vastly improved C++, its more agile coding, its more efficient debugging, and its more powerful testing platform. All these features helped the developer keep in closer contact and spend more time with his significant other. The connection to love was seamless.

Results and Effectiveness
UM’s pioneering approach led to over 8,000,000 views, approximately 5 times the 1.5 million developers in China. Moreover, our video was re-posted around the web 14,000 times! The campaign also received over 10,000,000 page (views?) and 700 video results on regional search engines. It was recognized by the Internet Marketing Committee of China (considered by many to be the marketing industry's leading organization in China) with a ROI Nomination Award. The campaign was also awarded Digital ROI Nomination Award from DSZR, a leading marketing and advertising body in China.