Telstra engaged boutique retail agency, Retail Engine, to create a window that would engage passing foot traffic and bring the Windows Phone 7 intuitive touch technology to life. 

Campaign: Microsoft Windows Phone 7 launch

Product: Microsoft Windows Phone 7

Client: Telstra

Agency: Retail Engine

Background

Telstra was given the opportunity to launch one of the most exciting mobile phone platforms into the Australian market in recent times, Microsoft Windows Phone 7, a complete overhaul of the company’s mobile operating system with a fresh user interface, added features and promises of improved performance. As part of an integrated Australian campaign for the launch, Telstra wanted to utilise its large retail footprint in the street front area of its Bourke Street flagship store.

Located on one of Melbourne’s busiest thoroughfares, the Bourke Street store window is prime promotional real estate. As a result, Telstra was looking to find more engaging and technically driven ways to leverage its potential to showcase products and services, demonstrate the company’s telecommunication retail capabilities and extend its in-store experience to the street.

Telstra engaged boutique retail agency, Retail Engine, to create a window that would engage passing foot traffic and bring the Windows Phone 7 intuitive touch technology to life.

Objectives

The main objectives of the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 launch were simple: Telstra wanted to generate as much awareness, excitement and talk-ability around the Windows Phone 7 operating system as possible.

Secondary to the objectives above, Telstra wanted to demonstrate the capabilities of the new smartphone technology in an engaging and compelling way, while creating an environment where customers could interact with the product as they passed by on the street.

Strategy

Windows Phone 7 is the successor to its Windows Mobile platform and, as such, it was imperative to showcase the brand new operating system that had been developed. Windows Phone 7 allows the consumer to essentially have their office with them at all times – the full Microsoft office suite is there at your fingertips, including Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint Workspace and OneNote. The HTC 7 Mozart touch enabled handset demonstrated the new operating system beautifully, and if we could show the consumer how easy it is to use the operating system, which utilises programs most people run every day, plus the thousands of apps available, then the phones would virtually sell themselves.

But how do you allow customers to engage with a highly technical product using a high street window?

Execution

In keeping with the true experiential nature of Telstra stores, Retail Engine proposed an innovative interactive window solution to bring the Windows Phone 7 intuitive touch enabled technology to life and actively engage people as they passed the store.

By adapting ‘touch’ technology to a window display that incorporated a giant HTC 7 Mozart handset, Retail Engine managed to emulate the way the operating system behaved, creating a whole new and experiential retail environment on the street and turning an ordinary window into the interface of a giant mobile phone.

Although the display was highly visible to passing traffic, what compelled people to stop, take notice and engage with it was its interactive component. People were able to play with the handset in a fun way, while the Windows Phone 7 key features were clearly being demonstrated to them.

To create the display, Retail Engine banded together a mix of sophisticated technology and innovative design features, which portrayed the illusion of a fully working phone.

To create what effectively was the phone’s interface, rear projection film was cut to the shape of the phone screen and applied to the inside of the Telstra window. A transparent, paper thin touch film layer was then applied to the rear projection film. This film, although on the inside of the glass, allowed the customer on the other side of the glass to interact with the communication, touching and swiping the phone screen just like the original handset.

The Windows Phone 7 software was then configured onto a Windows PC and connected to the touch film. This was then calibrated for the depth and position of touch on the street side of the window.

The PC was also connected to a portrait-mounted projector that displayed the interactive touch phone tools onto the rear projection film, allowing the phone to appear as if it was working as usual. Contact or surface speaker technology then turned the whole window into a giant speaker.

And there you have it – a large format, Microsoft Windows 7 phone right on the window itself, which consumers could engage with at any time of the day.

In a world first, Windows Phone 7 software designed for mobile phones was adapted to connect with touch film. It made it possible for people to point at and swipe on the window to navigate and explore the phone’s features in an intuitive way, just as they would with a real handset. They could also access featured videos, which they could watch and hear via the surface speaker that transformed the window into a giant sound wall.

Importantly, the interactive software display emulated the handset user interface exactly, so users could immerse themselves in the brand experience while also being wowed by the innovative delivery of the experience.

Facial recognition technology was installed to monitor engagement levels of passing foot traffic with the interactive Windows Phone 7 window. Retail Engine uses privacy compliant facial recognition technology to protect the end user. No visual data can be stored or accessed.

By using advanced image processing techniques to provide non-identifiable visual information, Retail Engine was able to build a database of ‘viewer’ stats based on the numbers of people that came within three metres of the display.

This technology did not store information based on individual visual characteristics. Rather, it monitored overall passing numbers (i.e. within three metres), those who looked at the window, if they stopped and, if so, for how long, their gender and approximate age.

Results

The six-week campaign was hugely successful with over 8700 ‘viewers’ per week either engaging with the interactive display or stopping and watching, out of a potential 49,000 total foot traffic per week. There was also an overall uplift of 198 percent in sales for the launch handsets, the HTC 7 Mozart and the LG Optimus 7Q.

With the use of the facial recognition software, Retail Engine was able to glean some interesting results. Taking an average sample week of 5 to 11 November:

– there were 49,526 people in passing traffic

– there were 8731 viewers, meaning a 17 percent conversion rate

– demographically, 80 percent of viewers were males and, on average, men looked at the Windows Phone 7 for 30 percent longer than women

– most popular ‘opportunity to see’ times – i.e. people coming within three metres of the window – were between 2pm and 7pm, with the maximum peak period between 3.30pm and 6.30pm, when passing traffic averaged between 855 and 893 people

– during the week, viewers peaked between 3pm and 4pm with an average number of 189; during non-peak times, the average was 51 viewers per hour; and

– 60 percent of total viewers were young adults; i.e. between 15 and 35 years of age.

The high foot traffic and viewer figures for the Windows Phone 7 display window were reflected in the sales figures.

Following the first two pre-awareness weeks, the final four weeks saw an overall uplift in sales for the HTC 7 Mozart and the LG Optimus 7Q (the first handsets available to utilise the Windows Phone 7 technology) of 198 percent.

Telstra Country Wide’s retail design and visual merchandise manager, Anna Di Giantomasso, notes, “This launch raised Telstra’s technology bar for consumer interaction and has delivered a new dimension to static above the line creative with true measurable consumer engagement. The launch has increased vendor as well as Telstra’s expectations for future promotions in this space… vendor comments included ‘What else can we do?’ and ‘What’s our next ‘wow’ factor?’”

Putting Telstra and Microsoft on the global map

Yet, the good news did not stop there. The success of the Windows Phone 7 display was not only recognised locally. Following the display promotion on the Telstra website, the blogosphere picked it up immediately. Working overtime it was rapidly reposted on over 200 other websites around the world, putting a spotlight on the advanced use of technology and giving Telstra and the Australian launch of Windows Phone 7 global recognition.

Microsoft response

The window was received with enthusiasm by Microsoft, as the most innovative local area marketing campaign devised for the Windows Phone 7 launch anywhere in the world.

By incorporating more of the senses than sight alone, a window display can become truly engaging. The addition of touch and sound facets to enhance the display highlights the attributes of the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 experience. The product comes to life and the results show that you can indeed create ‘Engaging Windows’ in an innovative and captivating way.

Belle Kwan
BY Belle Kwan ON 3 October 2011
Assistant editor, Marketing magazine & marketingmag.com.au
A marketer's dream who believes everything she sees on TV.
Advertising is not evil, it is an artform and a science.