afaqs! Cool Hotmail

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising
Last updated : October 11, 2007
The product was launched last week. McCann Bangalore is the agency behind the campaign

How personal and close can an email service get? With your name? Your surname? Probably even your middle name? Well, how about if apart from your name, you can get your email to define your identity and personality? Cool Hotmail is the mail service to go for.

Microsoft, the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing, recently announced a personalised email service in India, This mail service enables a user to choose from a list of custom domains based on five broad categories: 'what I like?', 'who I like?', 'who am I?', 'where do I live?' and 'I don't fit'. For example, a user could have an email id such as,,,, depending on what truly reflects his personality.

Boy gets pinched

The pincher has the same shoes

A girl fondly pinches him
for the same drink

An F1 freak, he gets
a coolhotmail id

Product shot
The film created by McCann Bangalore opens with a young boy who's walking into a mall, bending down to tie his shoe laces. A hand comes into the frame, and pinches him on his arm; the boy turns around to see another young boy standing behind him, who happily points out that he is wearing the same shoes as him. He then walks into a coffee shop and, much to his surprise, a girl pinches him on the cheek - well, she is having the same drink as him! People give him the 'same pinch' for a variety of other things that they have in common with him. The latter part of the commercial takes the viewer through the different personality options that the young boy can go through. Quirky background music sets the mood of the film. The TVC ends with a product shot of

Mathanki Kodavasal, creative team leader at the agency, is behind the idea for the film. She says, "The brief was to bring out the factor of customisation of the mail service that was being undertaken by MSN in the TVC. The idea was to reveal the fact that being a black sheep is suddenly cool."

The core target audience that has been identified for the product is around the age of 15-34 years. The TVC talks to the youth, a super smart bunch, who want to belong to a gang, but still want to be unique within their group. From a broader perspective, any and every new user is a prospective consumer. The demographics are not driven by just the metros, B grade towns are also included.

Vineet Gupta, marketing manager, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, says, "With so much happening with regard to the mail system and so much clutter, there is a distinct lack of identity. A need was felt amongst those of a certain age group for an email system that would reflect their personality. The point of differentiation was the fact that would reflect any individual's personality."

"'Same pinch' is something which goes back to school and college days, and something which each of us can relate to. This idea was finalised after a lot of thought on something which could be extended across all mediums," Kodavasal adds.

As of now, the film is currently on air on television channels such as Channel [V], MTV, STAR World, Zee Cafe and some sports channels. The campaign will be extended to radio and outdoor soon. Print will probably come at a later stage. On-ground activities in colleges are also being considered, as also in-film placements.

The film has been shot by Bardroy Barretto of Brown Skins, Mumbai.

Prior to this, MSN had launched two custom domains, and, simultaneously with the movies hitting the screen, for testing purposes. The former received more than 15,000 registrations and the latter received more than 10,000 registrations.

Microsoft, the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing offers a wide range of products and services, some of them being their online properties, MSN and Windows Live. Windows Live is a set of personal Internet services and software which provides information, enables chat, offers the email function, and a host of other services. MSN delivers programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses. MSN and Windows Live are offered alongside each other as complementary services.

MSN and Windows Live Hotmail currently have more than 310 million active accounts worldwide, as compared to 260 million in 2006. MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month and has localised versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages. The Windows Live Messenger has more than 280 million active accounts worldwide. On an estimate, users of the Windows Live Messenger, worldwide send more than 8 billion messages each day, as compared to 5.7 billion in 2006.

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First Published : October 11, 2007


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