Microsoft Kin social media marketing – a case study

Rose Microsoft Kin 300x244 Microsoft Kin social media marketing   a case study

To build buzz for the launch of its new phone, Kin, Microsoft has been undertaking a fairly large scale new media campaign involving live events, a range of social platforms including, YouTube and  Facebook, and a tour of America that explores the concept of a ‘friend’ in today’s society.

The work, which I believe has been created by Exposure, is in my opinion refreshingly good and a welcome departure from previous Microsoft social media marketing attempts like the Windows 7 launch video party series (although ironically the views of these videos far outstrip the Kin ones).

The campaign launched in April and will include 15 webisodes starring Rosa, a likeable personality who is travelling across America to meet in person her friends on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

The webisodes in my opinion are good. They are professionally created and engaging. The integration of multiple social media platforms has also been done well and two way engagement is going on across all of the ones I have viewed. The campaign has now launched another phase involving a series of live music events with bands such as The Black Keys.

Below I have embedded a couple of examples of the webisodes and also given a quick overview of the campaign elements and why I think this campaign has been successful.

This is the trailer to the series:

An example webisode:

Campaign elements (all numbers roughly accurate at time of posting):

  • Facebook – more than 187,000 people have liked the page and there is lively discussion going on via the wall. There are customised tabs for competitions. Videos and live events are also being publicised via the wall.
  • YouTube – a branded channel has been set up that has 3,130 subscribers (this isn’t huge), but has generated close to 600,000 views.
  • Twitter – the account has 4,487 followers and is being used to promote gigs and events happening in American cities. It is also being used for conversation and questions are being actively responded to.
  • MySpace – A highly customised page showcasing the webisodes as the hero content
  • Live events – live music events are taking place all over America, but to find out the details you have to be following the channels mentioned above to get clues and information
  • Microsite – this is the online hub for the campaign. Links off to all the social platforms and also provides more detailed information about the product.

What I like about this campaign:

  • Microsoft is everywhere its audience is. It has recognised that people interact on different platforms for different reasons and that no single platform is the answer. Refreshingly as well, Microsoft is playing on its competitors’ platforms (Youtube in particular) and not trying to confine this to their own platforms. Nice.
  • The videos are highly produced and engaging. The video quality is good and the talent obviously well thought out. Rosa is excellent natural talent that I found incredibly likeable. The initial trailer was obviously well promoted (165k) views, but subsequent videos were much less so – typically around the 5K mark, which must be somewhat disappointing.
  • The product mentions are not in your face. The Kin phone is present in each video, but where it is used it is relevant, not obtrusive and natural. Congratulations on this Microsoft.
  • The campaign involves online and offline elements. The offline elements give people something to engage with and offer situations for the public to generate and share content around the brand.
  • Microsoft is engaging in a two way dialogue. Across the Twitter and Facebook pages it is clear Microsoft is responding to questions and engaging in the conversation.

It will be interesting to see how Microsoft and its agencies continue to capitalise on the momentum they have generated thus far, but roughly a month in they appear to be off to a good start. I am not entirely sure about the phone, but I am only going on some reviews I have read and the form factor. I guess time will tell on that point.

What do you think?

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Full disclosure, I am a former employee of Microsoft and Microsoft is a client of both Weber Shandwick and my new employer Edelman. However Microsoft or its agencies have had no involvement in this post.If you enjoyed this post why not subscribe to my blog via RSS or email by following this link. Also whilst you’re at it why not follow me on Twitter .