Microsoft has unveiled the first collaborative branded campaigns for Windows 8 Ads in Apps. After naming 30 initial brands and select agency partners for the new concepts in early November, ads from Delta, Paramount Pictures, Ford, and Jeep are now live on Microsoft's new operating system.
"What's really unique is that it's a framework upon which we can build experiences that we've talked about or imagined for a long time but it's been prohibitively expensive for brands to do," Margaret Czeisler, national lead of marketing and advertising at Razorfish tells ClickZ. "They have this very flexible platform that allows experiences to transform in different environments and adapt."
Razorfish developed a new ad experience for Delta's "Up" campaign in the NBC News app, while other agencies like Team Detroit, This is Tommy, Universal McCann, and Sapient worked with their respective brands early into the ideation process as well. "The idea is that we co-create with partners and platforms very early in the process…in order to maximize and leverage their full ecosystem," Czeisler continues.
"The creative process for us as an agency has changed significantly over the last few years," she adds. "It's totally changed the nature of the work and the concepts…You're not pitching a campaign anymore, you're pitching a full change to every touch point that a brand has with consumers."
Microsoft is convinced that "audiences are ready for something new," Stephen Kim, GM of global creative solutions at Microsoft writes in a blog post detailing the first ads released from the effort.
"I want to talk about the unique and collaborative journey we've been on these past few months, which is as important as our eventual destination," he continues. "As we sat down together waiting for the caffeine to kick in, we had no idea how the day would go, the direction we would take or what we would create. Collectively, we let our creativity push what we thought was possible and leaned on our new technology to make it real."
The first ad concept delivered by Delta takes advantage of gestures by encouraging users of the NBC News app to swipe upward to engage with the content. Czeisler says it reflected back to Delta's "keep climbing" tagline. "We were able to marry the actual experience of the ad and the physical gesture with that new brand tagline," he says.
"Co-creating with partners in a very different way is something that we're really excited about as an agency because it's really transformed our work and this is just one example of that." Although, she adds, "I would have loved to see it go further."
The teams are meeting again this week to begin work on their second ad concept, and Czeisler says she looks forward to making the next iteration more dynamic based on users' passions, interests, location, and other relevant data.
"These experiences need to seamlessly port and adapt to their environment but also change based on what the user expects from that environment," she adds.
"The idea of ads versus apps is very important as the lines are blurring between what is advertising and what is an app," Czeisler says, adding that while the ads aim to tell an emotional story, they also pull app-like elements into the app itself.
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Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 19, 2014