Windows 8- how are brands using in-app advertising?

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Following the launch of Windows 8 Ads-in-Apps (AiA) Microsoft has unveiled the latest campaigns to make use of its new cross-platform ad formats. This case study looks at 4 brands- Jeep, Delta, Sony Pictures and Ford as they capitallise on the new Windows 8 format.

More on this case study…
Brand: Microsoft, Jeep, Delta, Sony, Ford | Sector: Automotive, Film, Travel | Country: UK | Agencies: Razorfish, Universal McCann/Sapient, Team Detroit, This is Tommy | Objective: Build brand engagement | Format: Display, Video, Mobile, Windows 8 |

Following creative prototypes with agencies, brands and publishers, Microsoft Advertising has unveiled four new AiA campaigns- the Paramount Pictures film Jack Reacher (available in the UK), Delta, Ford and Jeep (available in the US).

While the new campaigns are significant, of equal importance is the creative journey that Microsoft went on with its co-ideation agencies, brands and publishers in order to produce them, working together in partnership from the very beginning. The next step in the journey is a period of testing and feedback, where Microsoft Advertising will evaluate what consumers love and what needs further refinement. Following this Microsoft Advertising will start to bring the its new formats to scale across the Microsoft network.

Commneting on the new formats, Stephen Kim, General Manager, Yarn, said: “As part of the digital industry and through conversations with agencies, brands and publishers, we know that audiences are ready for something new. And with Windows 8, we have a rich canvas that allows and inspires us to tell brand stories in a completely new way.
“ That’s why we opened our doors early – before the product launched – to creatives, and invited them to play. As we sat down together waiting for the caffeine to kick in, we had no idea how the day would go, the direction we would take or what we would create. Collectively, we let our creativity push what we thought was possible and leaned on our new technology to make it real. What you see below is the fruits of that co-ideation process.”

Agency Partner: Razorfish
Publisher/App: NBC News


With touch and gesture capabilities, this Windows 8 campaign promoted Delta airline’s ‘Up’ brand campaign. Through this experience while inside the NBC News app, the motion of swiping up on the Delta ad takes you on a visual journey through an airport as you travel through the airline’s brand story and message.

The Razorfish creative team leveraged the unique, creative campaign and content of “Up” to conceptualize a Windows 8 Ads in Apps concept for Delta in the NBC News app that is an intuitive, contextually relevant and immersive experience, which is ideal for a tablet. When in the NBC News app, a user can initiate the ad by touching on the Delta tile so that it expands up the screen. The user can swipe ‘up’ to continue a visual journey of a travel experience—from checking in at the airport, to bags going up the ramp, until the plane is up in the sky—that is simple and aspirational. Once the experience is closed, users are returned to the NBC News app content.

Agency Partner: Universal McCann/Sapient
Publisher/App: AccuWeather


Windows 8 integrates and tie in advertising to directly relate to the content that consumers are looking at within the app. This brand experience for Jeep brings to life the vehicle’s ability to handle any weather condition thrown at it, created in a contextually relevant environment; the AccuWeather app. It uses a technique called ‘dynamic layering,’ using visual layers to create rich background effects – rainy, stormy weather transitioning into beautiful bursts of sun behind the Jeep – within one single ad unit.

Universal McCann/Sapient created a dynamic Windows 8 Ads in Apps concept for Jeep within the AccuWeather app that speaks to how its new vehicle is ready for all weather. Once inside the AccuWeather app, the user scrolls through the content to the right until they come to the end and ‘bump’ into the Jeep ad, which features engaging animation and a beautiful experience that encourages users to click. Once a user engages, the Jeep ad expands to a full-screen experience where the user can thumb through informative text, graphics and video elements.

Agency Partner: Team Detroit
Publisher/App: Chicago Tribune Business Section


Windows 8 provides new ad real estate and an impactful opportunity to reinforce a brand’s message and product features to consumers in a relevant and non-intrusive way. As consumers scroll through this ad experience for Ford Fusion, three separate units in the foreground highlight the vehicle’s key features while an additional subtle background branding element serves as an extra layer for telling the Ford Fusion’s story.

Team Detroit created a Windows 8 Ads in Apps concept for Ford Fusion’s new ad campaign that leveraged the consumer-first architecture of Windows 8 to tell a story and present content in a way that is non-intrusive and within the context of what the consumer wants and when. The team created an advertising concept with a dynamic background that is subtle and contextual, and empowers the user to control their brand experience. Shown within the Chicago Tribune app, as consumers scroll left to right, they see environmental changes in the background that are brought to life through dynamic layering of elements and timeline based animation with three advertisement spots highlighting various components of the Ford Fusion story.

Paramount Pictures (for the theatrical release of Jack Reacher)
Agency Partner: This is Tommy
Publisher/App: BBC Top Gear


Leveraging the action thriller nature of the film, Windows 8 used gesture language to introduce key elements of the film as navigational tools in the ad experience. Targeted at a strongly male demographic, the ad for Paramount Pictures’ film Jack Reacher is incorporated into the BBC’s Top Gear app. The user is presented with a gear shift that, when manipulated with swipe or trace gestures, opens up different content windows such as the trailer, photos and screening information.

See video demonstrations of all the ads in action on Stephen Kim's blog here

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