Microsoft’s extensive ‘Stranger Things’ tie features a retro Windows app


Diving brief:

  • This month, Microsoft sparked social media buzz with retro-themed product announcements that happened to be part of a larger promotional tie-in for Netflix’s hit series “Stranger Things,” according to reports. information on the company’s website. The software giant kicked off the promotion on July 1 by posting a video on its social media announcing the release of an “all-new Windows 1.0”, leaving followers to speculate on its meaning.
  • Later messages from Microsoft highlighted its products from 1985, when the third season of “Stranger Things” takes place, and dropped clues about the show, including messages partially written in Morse code. like“Of course, there’s nothing strange about Windows 1.0. Don’t worry. Everything will be fine on July 8.” That day, Microsoft released Windows 1.11 mobile app which has classic programs from the original version of its desktop operating system and content related to the show.
  • Microsoft also announced the July 20 introduction of Camp Know Where, based on a fictional summer camp referenced in “Stranger Things.” The camp gives teens the chance to visit Microsoft stores or go online to take part in computer workshops related to the show. Finally, Microsoft is running social media contest to give away a “Stranger Things”-themed collectible arcade machine, a new Xbox One X game console and a one-year subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Overview of the dive:

Microsoft’s connection to “Stranger Things” gradually unfolded over several days around the July 4 premiere of the show’s third season, helping to build excitement for a marketing campaign aimed at the next generation of technology users and developers. Microsoft has smartly highlighted its history in software development, including the introduction of the Windows operating system in 1985, in social media posts that make sense to fans of the Netflix show. “Stranger Things,” whose main characters are teenagers struggling with paranormal activity in a fictional Indiana town in the 1980s, was a smash hit for Netflix, bringing in kids and their nostalgic parents.

By releasing a Windows 1.11 app that contains clips from the show and hints at key plot points, Microsoft is targeting today’s tech-savvy teens who are more likely to depend on a smartphone for to entertain. Its Camp Know Where activation will provide a more immersive experience for people visiting its stores, where they can experience the full range of Microsoft products. Events include “Rule the Arcade” which lets visitors code their own video game and “Strange-Ify Your World” which showcases Microsoft’s software tools for making video with mixed reality and 3D. Microsoft has also created a special “Stranger Things 3” landing page that contains additional content for download, including desktop wallpapers.

For Netflix, the Microsoft tie is another sign of how the video streaming company aims to build businesses around licensing, product placement and promotional activities for its popular shows instead of ads, which the service does. subscription does not have. However, marketing ties have grown around certain shows, Netflix runs the risk of overplaying its hand and alienating viewers if the programming comes across as little more than a promotional venue. For example, Microsoft is among 75 brands that have struck deals with Netflix for promotional and merchandising ties to “Stranger Things,” The New York Times reported. Coca-Cola planned to resurrect New Coke as part of a tie-in with the show. Burger King has teamed up with Netflix on the “Upside Down Whopper” while Baskin-Robbins has started selling ice cream flavors inspired by the show. Nike and H&M also designed apparel with “Stranger Things” themes to appeal to fans.

For marketers, the risk may be worth the potential downside, given the enduring popularity of “Stranger Things.” netflix announced on Twitter that the show’s third season was viewed by 40.7 million households in its first four days, a record for the streaming video company. Netflix also said 18.2 million households watched all eight episodes. To compete in the $122 billion market for entertainment-related products, Netflix needs hit shows that last multiple seasons, Bloomberg reported. Netflix tends to cancel most of its new series after two seasons due to declining viewership, but “Stranger Things” has been an anomaly in its viewership growth with each new season. Next year, Netflix will launch a mobile video game based on the show that will resemble “Pokémon Go” by combining digital imagery with a player’s physical location.

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