Microsoft and Channel 4 converted the ad breaks of two peak-time shows - Jamie's Best Ever Christmas and Come Dine With Me - into mini stories promoting the functionality of Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 and their integrated search engine Bing.
At the start of the first centre break in each of the shows, viewers were invited by the continuity announcer to "stay tuned to see how Bing and Windows Phone 7 help save Christmas". A 30 second commercial for Microsoft's Windows 7 phone was followed by a series of short, narrative stings in between ads for other participating brands - including Sainsbury's, Xbox, Boots, The Co-op, Ferrero Rocher, Confused.com, Coty and Southern Comfort - which created the story of a couple in the midst of a Christmas emergency.
Each break segment featured the shoppers using their Windows Phone 7 and Bing search engine to help solve a different aspect of the nightmare, such as tracking down and getting directions to the nearest Sainsbury's to buy a turkey, or researching fun for all the family.
For example, when searching for a good deal, they entered "Confused.com" into the Bing search engine on their Windows Phone 7 and the break cut to the ad for that brand. The final ad in the break showed the Windows Phone 7, the Bing home page, and the Orange app with a strap line of "Bing it this Christmas!"
Media Strategy for the Windows Phone 7 carried out by Universal McCann. Creative was by Duke and Earl. The themed ad break supports the "makes life easier" positioning for the Windows Phone 7.
This break innovation is a unique platform to help us to communicate to our audience in a way that will cut-through during the busy Christmas period. We have taken the award-winning formula of placing relevant advertising stings between the ads, but have given it a Christmas twist. We have also developed the concept by showing two of our most cutting edge products - Bing & Windows Phone - working seamlessly in tandem, within a story telling construct that hasn't been done before.
Paul Davies, Director of Marketing Communications, Microsoft