Microsoft and Canadian Students -- A love affair?

Who's targeting Canadian students?
Microsoft is working with Youthography, the leading Canadian 'youth marketing' agency, to market their full Microsoft Office package of 9 products at a very advantageous price. Microsoft Ultimate Steal offers all their products at a 91% discount to Canadian students, the product sells itself.

Is Microsoft trying to recapture their dropping market share on university campuses?

Postering and Un-postering
I'm currently working with them as a brand ambassador at my university to execute their integrated marketing campaign over the course of a few weeks. We do everything from online viral marketing, postering and promotional item distribution. Check Adjoke's post for an example of one of the online viral material that we spread across canadian college student communities.
So we plackareded the university with the posters that we were provided with. The idea was to tease students for a week with the following poster and then release the website address on a sticker the following week.
However, a week later all canadian brand ambassadors had a new task: to take the posters down!

The poster

The sticker

So what's wrong with it?

  • The kid on it looks very young and many university students may have problems relating with him.
  • The two-step campaign did not create suspense, it created frustration because the advantageous deal was put out there without the site to access it.

What's your take on it?

I'll receive the new poster in a week, so stay tuned to find out what it will look like...


Daniel Oyston said...

I can understand how there would have been frustration with what the poster was promoting.

Is the kid in the poster real? Did you consider hiring a uni student, modeling the poster on them, and then have them hand out stickers and/or vouchers where they could visit a website and obtain the discount.

This would connect with people more strongly because they could, when they saw the poster, say “yeah, I saw that kid outside before”. Or vice versa, “I saw that kid over there on a wanted poster”.

If they hadn’t taken a voucher or sticker then they may be more inclined next time because they understand a little more and maybe want to be part of the “wanted’ situation.

Anonymous said...

It's interesting they took that approach - they have a similar deal going in Australia. However, I haven't seen anything about it on campus at all...they only did it via email.

It might be a bit dangerous to make an already cynical generation a little bit more cynical about the deal - and generally the rule is that once you've lowered your prices it's very difficult to get them up again. I don't want to pay full price for Office ever again!

Morgan Coudray said...

@Oyston -- Good point. Exploiting campus communities by putting the face of one of the local brand ambassador would clearly be more effective!

@Katherine -- The campaign does have a short-term outlook because I wouldn't want to pay full price after that. But the people I suspect they want to target are the large portion of the student community that is NOT paying for it at all...

olivier said...

While in Montreal, I first thought it was serious stuff... But when I understood that microsoft crap, I just... ran away :D

This just won't work...

Zac Martin said...

As Katherine already said, they have a similar campaign here, called "It's Not Cheating".

Honestly, I like it. Students are probably the least likely of all demographics to actually pay for software, myself included. But for only a few dollars, I was happy to fork over for an authentic version.

I think it worked quite well when they launched the 2007 product, not sure if it's still as effective.

Interesting to see same core concept but campaigned differently in a different country. Wonder what other brands are doing this?

Morgan Coudray said...

Zac, at least in Australia they're to-the-point. They'll always find a few honest students to at least break-even