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Our Work

Work x Life

Keep only those things that speak to your heart.

Client

  • Microsoft

Office

  • London

Challenge

Microsoft had two core challenges: a vast and complex product offering spanning hardware, software and services, and a perception putting them in tension with modernity that was losing them competitive share. A CEO interviewed for the campaign stated, ‘Microsoft is not a thought leader, just another tech vendor’.

We were briefed to create a B2B campaign for the modern workplace, driving brand awareness and business impact through leads and sales. The campaign had to make business leaders rethink their business technology.

Target audiences were C-Suite across varying disciplines in SMB and enterprise organisations, with the campaign going live in 12 markets across Western Europe. The campaign demanded a layered approach, to deliver uniform and universally relevant creative that was able to trickle down to targeted solutions per job function.

A unifying, collective thought was needed to simplify the product offer and challenge parameters of the traditional workplace. The campaign represented a step change in B2B stretching far beyond traditional product marketing, positioning Microsoft as a cornerstone of the modern workplace and a thought leader in something much bigger than technology.

Inspiration

In less than a year, millennials will make up 50% of the workforce, and that goes up to 75% in 2025. We found a new untapped insight true of millennials with how they view work and life, which is radically different to those who entered the workforce only years before. For them, work/life balance is not a priority. They want to live and work with purpose – and bring their whole selves to all they do.

Styles of work are changing as a result, redefining how we communicate, collaborate and create every day; younger generations no longer expect to be confined to the 9-5 or the four walls of an office. Microsoft technology is fundamental to unlocking mobility, collaboration and creativity in the new culture of work, resolving classical tensions that previously compromised productivity and security. The new culture of work is not about compromise

– about weighing up mobility against security, about choosing between creativity and productivity, or juggling your work and life – it’s about collaborating with all parts of you and your organisation, anywhere and anytime.

We used owned research, secondary research, and interviews with business leaders in the pitch process to understand the macrotrends shaping digital transformation, the changing shape of the workforce and leadership in the new culture of work, to understand the insights changing the face of work. Our data team analysed published content to find that content focused solely on product doesn’t achieve high engagement and content on the big-picture benefits does. We then analysed social content to understand channel nuances and Microsoft’s current positioning in the space. This allowed us to identify the conversations we could authentically tap into to maximise relevance and engagement.

Idea

Work x Life was a concept and term coined for the greatest collaboration of them all; the seamless integration of work and life. Microsoft technology empowers us to do that. So, we wanted to dramatise the way in which Surface and Microsoft 365 unfolds and connects our work and lives by inviting Swedish entrepreneur Sofie Lindblom to fill one giant surface with all the objects that mean the most to her.

We tapped into trends of KonMari and ‘flat lay’, the practice of neatly organising and photographing objects from above – and took them to the next level. Thousands of personal artefacts from Sofie’s work and life – from her record collection to her boardroom table and New York taxicab – were beautifully crafted into the world’s largest flat lay.

We filmed on the biggest stage at Pinewood Studios, using a customised, electric rig, taking our camera steadily from the top of Sofie’s hat to 50 feet above the flat lay. From there we see how Sofie’s whole world fits perfectly together in one place. About the flat lay:

  • 8 hours to assemble
  • 22 x 12 metre flat lay
  • 50 feet high camera rig
  • 1,200 items from Sofie’s work and life
  • 1 incredible, real-life entrepreneur

The creative platform Work x Life was untrodden ground in B2B marketing, allowing Microsoft to navigate and have a leading voice in a cultural movement, while still driving business value. Alongside the hero film, the creative platform flexed across a piece of written thought leadership in partnership with an organisation of worldwide cache in emotional intelligence, discussing why technology alone isn’t enough to thrive in the new culture of work and the emotional skills leaders need. We also created a gated video featuring business leaders of varying disciplines in conversation, tapping into key cultural insight and personal anecdotes about the new culture of work. Content spanned articles, social formats for awareness, and social formats for hyper-personalised messaging.

Growth

The Work x Life campaign delivered on our objective to drive awareness. Focusing efforts on LinkedIn as the most trusted social platform to reach professionals, the campaign received 21 million impressions with a click-through rate of 47% higher than industry average.

As for business impact, the campaign drove 12,000 new leads for Microsoft Western Europe, with a 21% increase in sales and deals closing an average of 32% faster.

Sometimes siloed by market, Microsoft came together as an organisation to support the campaign, seeing local markets run their own Work x Life initiatives for International Women’s Day.

Feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

Microsoft Work x Life master hero
Women with laptop sitting on bed

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