Microsoft talks Windows Phone 7 advertising campaign

Mary Jo Foley spoke to David Webster, the chief strategy officer in Microsoft’s central marketing group on their Windows Phone 7 marketing strategy.

Webster emphasized that the marketing and product planning teams for Windows Phone 7 have been working side-by-side, to devise the “story telling” for that product from the very start.

Microsoft wants the new phone ads to attract customers who may never have used (or didn’t realize they were using) a Windows Mobile phone. “The ‘people’ focus was a big part of the (Windows 7) branding” and will be a continued emphasis for Windows Phone 7, Webster said.

Smartphones are a lot like search, Webster said, in that users, when asked, say they are mostly satisfied with their phones but then actually have a litany of complaints. Other phone vendors are locked into certain models and messages, he said. “They’re solving for a problem from four years ago,” he said. Microsoft has the advantage of being able to come in with a new model and message because it is basically starting over with Windows Phone 7.

The messaging “needs to reflect customers we have and customers we don’t,” he said. It also needs to explain why Microsoft is opting for a different phone model with elements like hubs and Live Tiles, instead of the app-centric approach of its competitors, Webster said. Windows Phone 7 also is the perfect vehicle for Microsoft to highlight the interdependence and convergence of different Microsoft brands and technologies, since Windows Phone 7 devices will be running Bing, Office Mobile, Zune services, Internet Explorer, and Windows Live, Webster pointed out.

Microsoft will be working with Crispin, Porter + Bogusky — the agency that did the Laptop Hunters, “Windows 7 Was My Idea,” to create its Windows Phone 7 ads.

We have already seen how a massive advertising campaign can have very positive results in terms of uptake.  Examples include the Droid and Bing. The only question that remains is whether Microsoft is willing to commit that level of resources to its mobile ambitions.

Read more at the All about Microsoft blog here.

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