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Special Project

Special Project
From the 14th Annual Shorty Awards

In The Balance

Entered in Branded Series


Microsoft asked us to create a bold and pioneering awareness campaign to stimulate desire and excitement for the all-new Microsoft Surface Duo, with the halo effect of improving brand recognition for Microsoft Surface at the top of the funnel. 

Microsoft were launching the new Surface Duo, a dual screen mobile device with the power to raise the bar in productivity. But because of its portability, Microsoft were concerned that people would confuse the Duo’s category. Of course, when reviewed against smartphones, Duo doesn’t win – the camera isn’t as powerful for example, and lack of 5G and wallet means few will choose Duo over a smartphone. But it could revolutionise working in the ‘new normal’ through its own unique capabilities.

They had to get people to recognise and desire it as a new device type in itself, that could empower their lives as they work from home, generate brand awareness, and enhance credibility not only for the Duo, but for the entire Surface Family.

Key Objectives

Start a new conversation about the benefits of dual screening in portable devices.Convert interest into action – and eventually purchase - for this and future generations of Surface Duo.Use the launch to shine a light on the rest of the Surface family.


Strategy and Execution

Business Insights: (See confidential info) 

Cultural insight and landscape: A person Is never just one thing. We are multi-dimensional, multi-tailored beings, playing multiple roles in our lives. While these roles were previously compartmentalised and fragmented, they are now closer than ever. With the pandemic and WFH, our lives that were compartmentalised have now been compounded. The many different identities and the different hats our trailblazers wear now have been stacked up on top of one another. This brings new challenges for productivity. Productivity used to be a way to simply be more efficient - now it needs to find harmony and balance across the many different Identities and demands our target audience take on each day.

Primary Audience

Early adopters and trailblazers. This is a first gen tech launch so we will be reliant on tech trailblazers and early adopters to tail, review and generate word of mouth. They have to be our primary audience as a result.

They’re on the lookout for the next new thing - they will be naturally interested In the new form but also highly sceptical. Does It answer a need or is it just an expensive folly?


With this in mind - along with the trying to combat any risk of category confusion - our approach was to focus on the Duo’s innovation credentials, we needed to:


An online content series following a trailblazing parent with a captivating story as she works from home during the pandemic. The five-episode miniseries captures our hero parent juggling her home life whilst uncovering an act of espionage in her new job. She is ‘in the balance’ as she follows the clues to unlock the work mystery to save her job, whilst managing her home life of family, hobbies, household and neighbours. Her situation forces her to jump between her many roles at work and at home, building tension and comedic moments as we dramatize the mundane tasks

The Surface Duo is with our hero at every turn, helping her plough through all the challenges that come her way. The new, original content, mini-series was created by rising star writer, Jess Bray, award winning Director Marley Morrison, starring UK acting talent Lily Frazer, Alexandra Moen, Amit Shah and Seb Cardinal.

We treated this as the launch of a TV-series or movie, with a press tour, talent interviews, trailers and captivating opening titles. The series lived on Microsoft UK social channels with promotion across paid, CRM, employee, influencer and earned outlets.


Brand Awareness

32M Reach with 10.4M impressions for a product content series!! Reaching new audiences at scale

1.1M Total episode views across the entire series and 3.5% engagement rate, out-performing all traditional surface content.

Positive Brand Sentiment

90% Positive sentiment - We changed perceptions of surface with key audiences with new media and influencers praising the campaign for its surprising and emotive nature which they would not normally associate with Surface.  It allowed them to feel a connection with the whole brand family. 

Increase in Traffic

335% Traffic spike to the Duo product page on campaign launch day, bringing new customers to Surface. 


Video for In The Balance

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Edelman, Microsoft


Entry Credits