What sells hardware? Good design? Good software? Marketing? Honestly, all of this is equally important. With the Microsoft Surface, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8— Microsoft seems to be heading in the right direction with software and hardware design in general.
This isn’t that surprising to me. What IS surprising is that they seem to be doing some of the best marketing that the company has ever done.
A lot of this is because the game is changing. Before, why advertise much for Windows? It’s the only “major” desktop OS out there so it basically sells itself.
While trying to win over mobile users, Microsoft is clearly re-inventing itself and that means getting the marketing down right.
Microsoft is not only using good TV and billboard advertising, but they also seem to be leveraging celebrities in a big way. This isn’t anything THAT new for Microsoft– but it is an approach that really could work and cause a big boast in sales.
With Windows Phone 8, actress Jessica Alba has become a sort of spokesperson for the Windows. She personally uses and has been seen sporting a Windows Phone 8 device, the Nokia Lumia 920 to be exact.
Alba even appeared at the Windows Phone 8 unveil and talked about the Kids Corner feature in Windows Phone 8 and how see is using it to keep her daughter away from using certain features like Twitter and the camera.
Let’s be honest— Microsoft is likely paying her buckets of money. We also really don’t know if she is using the Lumia 920 on a regular basis or simply walking around the city with it and then secretly pulling out another phone for her real calling, texting and app using pleasure.
Does it really matter? Nope, it doesn’t. Celebrities sell things, and Jessica Alba is a pretty good choice on Microsoft’s part.
What about the Surface, who stands behind it? Why Oprah of course.
For those that don’t know, Oprah Winfrey used to do a massively popular “Favorite Things” segment towards the year’s end via her talk show.
She would give away very expensive gifts in the process, too. Now that she has her own network and ended the show, she apparently has taken to her website to post up this year’s “Favorite Things”.
Here is exactly what Oprah has to say:
The Surface, Microsoft’s first tablet, feels like a Mercedes-Benz to me, people! The full-size keyboard built right into the cover makes work easy, the very smart kickstand makes watching a movie or Skyping a friend a delight, the less than a pound-and-a-half weight makes a great alternative to a laptop, and the many other features make it fun for work and play. Now, that’s a wowser!
Is Oprah being paid a similar boat-sized amount of cash to state this fact? Very possibly, but we all know that she really doesn’t need the money in a big way like this.
It is more likely that by promoting Windows 8 and the Surface through the mention her company is helping advertise her apps.
That’s right, it seems that the OWN Network has a Windows 8/RT app and that “Oprah: Live Your Best Life” has also just been released. This second app is a health/food guide type of app.
Both apps list Oprah as the developer. Can you just imagine Oprah sitting at a computer coding these things? Joking aside, in the past Oprah’s “Favorite List” mentions have added HUGE sales bumps for products.
Being that this was done online instead of through the show, it might not help as much, but it certainly won’t hurt.
I certainly think Microsoft seems to have been wise in their celebrity choices. What do you think, will celebrity endorsements from Oprah and Alba make a difference?