Microsoft and Bread n Butter were faced with three overlapping challenges:
Reposition OneDrive and its legacy of B2B social channels for new B2C audiences.
Make that change in a way that focused on richer, relevant, emotive storytelling.
And…do it in 6 weeks.
We knew a traditional approach to content creation wasn’t going to work here so we quickly jumped into what we knew about the audiences, what we knew about the product, and what we knew about how we wanted OneDrive to show up across Instagram and Twitter. We also knew that to tell these stories, we were going to have to rely on varied content styles—static imagery, GIFs, and video—with video being the majority.
Our primary goal was to get into market quickly with content that could make an immediate impact by increasing consumer awareness and driving engagement. This combination meant we needed to focus less on technical product specs and more on the ways OneDrive fit into our audiences’ lives.
Right out of the gate, we faced two core challenges:
This unifying idea needed to be strong enough to pull a consistent thread through the creative, but flexible enough to be relevant to each audience. It also needed to be provocative enough to speak across both a B2B and B2C audience.
That unifying idea? “Cloud Anxiety”
People have been willy-nilly saving things to the cloud for years and there is an underlying anxiety that you know your stuff is somewhere, but you’re not totally sure where. In other words, you could find it if you’re asked but would need to check a few places first. Digital copy of your passport? Signed renters’ agreement? Kid’s soccer schedule?
They’re all uploaded…somewhere.
We wanted to own the idea that OneDrive helped you “save yourself” from this anxiety and, in turn, become the digital “home” for what you value most.
For our audiences, you could rest easier knowing that file, family recipe, calendar of important dates, code to unfreeze your credit score, instructions for the crib your stored until you had a second child…all of it had a home in OneDrive.
This “Cloud Anxiety” and resulting “Save Yourself” idea became a springboard both for the resulting campaign and as a potential brand platform that spoke to the highly personal nature of cloud storage.
In the end, in addition to drumbeat evergreen social content inspired by the same core insight, we produced a series of high-fidelity videos (9 in total) that accommodated multiple media formats, from social reels to pre-roll to OTT. Partnering with leading production houses and award-winning directors, we shot on a state-of-the-art LED sound stage as well as some green screen to bring each scene to life. Talent-wise, we put together ensemble-like casts with improvisational backgrounds. All of this combined allowed for maximum creativity, flexibility, and efficiency in producing higher value video as part of the content mix for OneDrive social channels.
Within a quick 6 weeks cycle from briefing to production, this organic social content was able to achieve impressive results. The “Save Yourself” campaign has achieved an engagement rate +27% above the benchmark and +13% above the benchmark for views outperforming our non-campaign content across the board.
Beyond the hard metrics, this campaign had a bigger job to do both in differentiating the product from competitors and in proving that it was possible to create head-turning video content in this style, under a tight timeline. This was almost more important than how the assets performed in market.
Here too, we saw positive results.
Our success was clearly turning heads at our competitors as one of them copied one of our vignette concepts on their channels. Although anecdotal, in a market as tight as Cloud Storage, it’s a nod that we were doing something right.
More significantly, this initial batch of content was designed to be a test to evaluate potential. Although not a flagship product, OneDrive is an important “Freemium” step to welcoming people into the Microsoft suite of products.
The success of the Save Yourself campaign (both internally and externally) was strong enough that Microsoft made a longer-term investment in this style of emotive brand storytelling and has continued to find new ways of engaging audiences across other channels, in a similar style.
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