Ad Of The Week

Travel Broadens The Brand For Microsoft Teams

4.1

You could be forgiven for suppressing a groan at the start of Microsoft Teams’ new ad. Not another cheap ad set on a videocall! But that’s the beauty of this spot from McCann – the whole point of it is to show that Teams can do a lot more than just meetings.

The idea of the ad is that it brings together a bunch of people who had planned to travel to Tokyo for the recent Olympics before Covid-19 restrictions made that impossible. Instead, thanks to Teams (and a host with a smartphone), Microsoft can “bring Tokyo to them” in a whirlwind tour of cat cafes, ginza bars and square watermelons.

How realistic is it to expect a virtual meeting app to feel like being on the ground in a global city? Not very – but that’s not really the point. Like many brands, Microsoft and Teams are looking to a post-pandemic future and trying to work out their niche in it. Teams is one of the apps which has thrived during the Covid era, providing crucial connective tissue to keep the virtual workplace running. But that very success can also be a problem. Teams needs to avoid being seen as just a virtual meeting tool people associate with the pandemic, like an actor typecast for one famous role.

So the particular activities in this ad aren’t as important as the general vibe – these people are happy, having fun, and Teams is working just fine as a livestreaming tool bringing the world to you. The response in our Test Your Ad report backs this up. Moment-by-moment the ad doesn’t really take people on a journey, but happiness rises quickly and stays fairly constant throughout, leading to a strong 4.1-Star score. Good branding means high Brand Fluency and an exceptional short-term Spike score.

In the context of business software these results are particularly good. Teams’ ad lands in our all-time Top 10 business service ads – this is, as you might guess, not a category known for its feelgood advertising. So congratulations are due to Microsoft, Teams and McCann for finding an unlikely – but effective – pivot away from business and videocalls as usual.

 

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Creative agency credit: McCann New York