Microsoft have been pushing a new campaign recently, The New Busy, to promote their webmail, Hotmail. I’ll have to admit the print ads completely confuse me, but the website, for an information driven site, is quite sweet, with its gamelike moving blocks you can re-arrange.
As part of the campaign, Microsoft are running 3 days of events in London (on 26, 27 and 28 May at Golden Square, Canary Wharf and Broadgate), where you can go outside and do something more interesting instead. At least, that’s what I think the message is, with all the time the new tools in Hotmail give you, you get chance to try something different
The World of New Busy events will host a chill out and viewing area, Hotmail showcase, Health Farm where guests can learn Morris dancing, hula hooping and iconic dance moves, and Frivolity Fields where people can learn knitting, hand massage, throat singing and have a nap in the sleep pod. There will also be a unique photo opportunity in front of the green screen.
Apparently it’s a ‘quirky experiential campaign’ running across the summer, promoting the new version that launches later this year. They’ve got the obligatory Facebook page and Twitter feed, although something tells me the people running the profiles are not quite comfortable with the language yet, as a contest on Facebook to win a skydive asks you to ‘logon’ to their Twitter account (sure, give me the password then!) and then the tweet tells you to go to Facebook. I think they need to do a little bit more sorting out still
Overall, I think there’s some good bits here, they’ll get the city people coming and taking a look at what they are offering and hopefully they’ll remember Hotmail. But it feels not quite there yet.
I got an email asking me if I wanted an email about it; polite, but far too easy to ignore usually, I prefer just getting the stuff and then deciding what to do with it. I then got an email with an attached .docx (again, another barrier, not everyone can open these) which was a duplicate of the text in the email (so why bother with the attachment). A few hours later, I then got the same email, non-personalised which had obviously been sent out to a large list. As with the campaign social media, I think the pitch is not quite there yet.
Update: A big marketing push started on Wednesday, with Hotmail taking over the Metro to advertise the events
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