Microsoft Kicks Up Its "Smoked by Windows Phone" Ad Campaign


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In February, Microsoft began an ad campaign for its Windows Phones called "Smoked By Windows Phone." The campaign involved Microsoft Store employees challenging Android and iPhone users to contests involving performing various tasks on a smartphone. The tasks were often weighted against contestants by having the Windows Phone prepared in advance to perform the pre-selected task, but showing off the features of a Windows Phone was the point. Despite a hiccup involving the PR nightmare of an Android user being denied his prizes after winning the Windows Phone Challenge, the campaign ran smoothly for Microsoft and garnered needed attention for phones such as the Nokia Lumia 900.

Now Microsoft has decided to double-down on the "Smoked By Windows Phone" campaign and create ads where random smartphone users on the street are challenged to take the Windows Phone Challenge. The new ads were announced over on the official Windows Phone Blog, where Microsoft Evangelist Ben Rudolph revealed the ads that will run throughout the summer. From the blog post:

This time, rather than challenge people at Microsoft Stores (or on the CES show floor), we hit the streets of Seattle, asking real smartphone users to complete common tasks like taking photos and posting them to Facebook, finding awesome places to eat, or connecting with someone on a social network.

Watch below as Rudolph smokes a girl named Ramona and her Samsung Stratosphere:

Of course, Rudolph already had a group of friends created beforehand, making the "send" portion of the challenge a snap. That is the sort of set-up that the challengers don't get to perform. Still, the challenges highlight some good features of the Windows Phone operating system, such as "Me" Live Tile that Rudolph uses to smoke Peter in the next ad:

Two other, very similar ads can be seen on the WindowsPhone YouTube page. In one, Rudolph smokes an Argentinian couple by quickly finding directions to a Japanese restaurant. In the other, he bests a girl's iPhone by quickly uploading a picture to Facebook and then sends her to the restaurant at the top of the Space Needle.

That Microsoft is putting more money into the "Smoked By Windows Phone" ad campaign is interesting. On one hand, it indicates that the campaign has been successful. On the other hand, the current Windows Phones will quickly become outdated this fall with the release of Windows Phone 8, since no current Windows Phones will be updated to the new operating system. This seems to be Microsoft's last push to sell Windows Phone 7 phones before Windows Phone 8 launches.