No walls for Microsoft Windows

By Savia Jane Pinto , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | January 13, 2009
The global concept, Life Without Walls, is being adapted in India through this campaign

You & #BANNER1 & # can check out the man who's come to marry you. You can watch cricket in a stadium and prepare a presentation. You canů In its latest communication, Microsoft Windows explains how you can move from one digital world to the next without a hitch.

The campaign, which has been created by McCann Erickson, comprises two television commercials, each speaking to a different target audience.

The first TVC, titled Cricket, shows two men in an office who have tickets for a cricket match. But one backs out because he says he has to prepare a presentation. His friend convinces him that India is more important than a client and transfers the half-done presentation onto the Windows Skydrive on his mobile. The man completes his presentation on his mobile on his way to the stadium and sends it to his boss, with a note saying that he is ill. Then he watches the match. The ad ends with the voiceover: "Turn life your way with Windows. On the Internet, PC and mobile."

This ad is directed at the 28-35 year old working adult, who multitasks and uses a lot of technology in doing so.

The other TVC speaks to an even younger generation, which is tech savvy. The film shows a woman showing her son's photograph to a prospective bride, who doesn't seem too keen. Even as the boy's mother raves about him, the girl gets an SMS from her brother asking her about the prospective groom, who is called Prince. She sends him Prince's photo on her Windows Mobile enabled mobile.

Coincidentally, Prince is at the same club as the brother and drinking and flirting with the women there - quite the antithesis of the picture his mother is painting of him. The girl's brother shoots a short video of Prince's antics at the club and sends it to his sister on her mobile. Immediately, she connects her mobile to the PC and shows the video on the TV, which has been enabled through the Windows Media Centre. The girl and her family send Prince's embarrassed parents packing.

The global concept, Life Without Walls, is being adapted in India through this campaign. Guneet Singh, head, integrated marketing and communications, consumer and online, Microsoft India, explains, "With the current features that Windows offers, you can flip between the online and the offline world without any barrier, without too many procedures." He says you can take a photograph and, should you choose to upload it, Windows Live will connect directly to the Internet to enable you to do so.

Prasoon Joshi, executive chairperson, McCann Worldgroup India, and regional creative director, McCann Asia Pacific, says, "The ads had to display integration." The idea was to show how Windows enabled one to connect from work to fun and the other worlds in which one lives today. "It is a common thing for today's youth to connect all the time over the Internet and the rest of the digital world," he says.

afaqs! spoke to a section of the ad industry for a 'microscopic' view on the Microsoft Windows campaign.

Rajeev Raja, creative head, DDB Mudra, says he thinks that the setting and the context of the films are a bit expected. Comparing the two ads, he says, "I liked the Prince ad - it is better than the other one, but it could, perhaps, have had better casting."

Offering the planner's point of view, Dheeraj Sinha, chief strategy officer, Bates 141, says about the Cricket film, "It is a standard projection of features, which doesn't have too much freshness to it. Having said that, I thought the narrative was lucid."

The Cricket film was directed by Mintoo Singh of Classic Films, while the Prince film was directed by Sujay Shetty of Whodunit Films.

Shetty reveals that the films were supposed to be shot in Hindi initially, but the dialogues were changed to English later because of the target group that Microsoft was addressing and so that they could be better understood in the South Indian markets. He says, "This changing of the dialogues to English may have pulled down to some extent the effect the initial script had."

The TVC directs viewers to, where users can learn and share information.

The print and outdoor ads are being worked on.