Microsoft introduced its Windows 7 smartphone today with an ad campaign from Crispin Porter + Bogusky that pokes fun at the obsessive use of (presumably rival) cellphones.
In a broader sense, the work positions the new device as the antidote to time-sucking technology, allowing users to concentrate less attention and energy on their phones and more on living their lives.
The campaign features the tagline "Be here now," and kicks off with a 60-second commercial that shows people around the world unable to disconnect from their mobile devices in all sorts of situations, from sitting on the beach to taking a shower. "Really?" an irritated customer asks her masseuse as the latter uses her elbows to administer a massage because her hands are busy operating a phone.
Frustrated friends and partners continue to ask the question as the images shift to the consequences of being so absorbed. For example, in one scene, a man rams into another and sends his coffee flying; later, a woman tumbles down a staircase.
"It's time for a phone to save us from our phones," sums up the voiceover. "Windows phone. Designed to get you in and out and back to life."
The campaign challenges consumers to think about the role phones play in their lives, said Gayle Troberman, chief creative officer at Microsoft. "A great smartphone should work for you, not the other way around," she said. "The phone is there to help you connect and get things done, but it should be a tool that makes it easier to get done what you want to and get back to living your life."
The phone was designed to allow users to "get to what they love easier and faster," said Todd Peters, Microsoft corporate vp, mobile communications marketing group. "The whole principle of the phone behaves differently with this in mind."
The interface features live updatable tiles that allows users to see everything that is going on in their email, social networks, text messages, etc., on one screen, a point of differentiation from the dominant competitors in the category, like the Droid and iPhone. "You are getting a glance-able view of everything that is going on in your life," added Troberman.
The campaign will include a heavy TV push, as well as digital components such as a Facebook effort that invites users to record and share their own "Really" moments and to experience what their Windows phone might look like with personalized demos.