Talking to Marketing Week at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Andy Hart, managing director of Microsoft’s advertising division, claims the launch of its new tablet device Surface – “a new dawn” for the company – added to the recently unveiled mobile operating system Windows Phone 8 and Smartglass app, means its consumer reach is now unmatched.
He adds: “We now have a common interface [Windows 8] across all our consumer and business devices but also a common platform that allows really amazing things to happen. All of a sudden it’s the dawn of a new era with brand new consumer oriented touch screen interfaces that speak a common language across them all.”
The Surface device, Hart says, will allow brand marketers to connect with consumers in different ways. The platform’s first apps will be “like nothing you’ve ever seen before” and challenge Apple’s domination of the market, he adds but declined to offer further details.
Separately, in his speech to delegates at the Festival, Microsoft’s chief marketing officer Chris Capossela, said marketing for the tablet, Windows Phone 8, and the Windows 8 PC operating system – all to launch later this year – will aim to “romance” consumers the products by highlighting their performance and capabilities.
He also called on marketers to use its platforms to “tell brand stories”.
“For example, what would a Coca Cola loyalty app look like in Windows 8 and how can you tell a brand story that becomes a integrated part of the computing experience and doesn’t look like an ad?”
Microsoft is also planning a big push to position XBox as an entertainment service, rather than just a gaming console, reflecting the changing nature of its usage.
In the US, more minutes are spent using XBox to watch TV and films and listen to music than gaming.