marketing

The other day we mentioned how the Windows Phone team was preparing the first wave of an ad campaign, with the slogan of Windows Phone being "reinvented around you". To jog your memory, the two videos we've seen so far feature Gwen Stefani and Jessica Alba. We've just received word that those videos will begin airing tonight in the U.S. with new ones featuring Andy Samberg and Cam Newton coming in later weeks.

You can also look for additional ads to start appearing in the UK, France and Germany. What's interesting, is that Microsoft will take a local approach to those markets and use relevant celebrities and apps to highlight the platform.

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Microsoft is set to spend an incredible amount of money marketing both Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. The former is the next version of the company's desktop OS, while Windows Phone 8 is the new release that is hoped to help bring Microsoft into the mobile market with a respectable share of the pie. The Sun has reported that Microsoft has snapped up multiple big names to help push the mobile platform.

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New look and new options

For those of you who are looking to promote your Windows Phone app on the web, you’ll want to go grab these new virtual badges from Microsoft.

The new design comes in 3 resolutions (125 x 40; 208 x 67; and 376 x 120), two colors (blue and black) and reflect the more Modern UI look that we’re accustomed to with Windows Phone including the new Store logo. In addition, Microsoft explains how to do the all important region-neutral deep link for the Store for your app. That’s the method we use here at Windows Phone Central so that the link will redirect you to your localized market.

More information can be found on the Windows Phone Developer blog.

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Live Apps, Microsoft's new marketing language

Yesterday we ran a story with some new marketing material for Best Buy that focused on Windows Phone 8. What caught our attention was the use of the term ‘Live Apps’ and even more so the description on how to view them (swipe up, down, left, right).

The idea as the time was that this might be some new feature—possibly related to multitasking e.g. mimicking how Windows 8 handles multiple apps. The other was that this was just Microsoft’s rebranding of Metro apps to Live Apps (due to that trademark issue).

This morning, we can share a lot more information on this that has come forward. Some good, some disappointing.

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Ilari Nurmi showing off Nokia's Windows Phones

A lot can be said about last months revealing of the Nokia Lumia 920 (and 820). While the device’s design and hardware appear to be outstanding achievements for the Finnish company, the message and how it was delivered left a lot to be desired. In fact, Nokia’s stock famously dropped 16% on that day despite the impressive new devices with speculation pointing to lack of specific pricing, availability and carrier partners as the cause.

Since that time Nokia has recovered a bit, especially with a preliminary tests showing that the Lumia 920’s camera is a contender for the best mobile solution yet. But when times are tough and the message is fuddled, heads roll and that appears to be the case for Ilari Nurmi who was vice-president of product marketing for the company.

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A video of what appears to be HTC 8X marketing material has been leaked on YouTube, and it reveals an interesting feature of the Windows Phone - LTE support. Earlier last month we took a look at the HTC 8X sporting the Verizon 4G logo, which further confirmed -- alongside the leaked roadmap -- that the US carrier would indeed be taking the handset under its wing, and that it would be compatible with greater network speeds.

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Even older games are getting rebranded

Microsoft sure has been doing a lot of rebranding lately—from Outlook.com to Microsoft Store to getting rid of “LIVE”, the purge has been subtle but in our view, effective.

That trend is now continuing, especially with “LIVE” as the Windows Phone team is excising that phrase from current Xbox LIVE Games for Windows Phone. The trend started weeks a go with Shoot1UP and since then, three more titles have the new look and name: Xbox – Windows Phone.

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Alan Mendelevich, the genius behind the AdDuplex advertising network for Windows Phone developers, has launched a new marketing and monetisation focused podcast titled AppBizDev (www.apbizdev.com). The bi-weekly podcast aims to aid developers and businesses who choose to launch apps on Windows platforms - be it Windows 8 or Windows Phone.

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AdDuplex, the Windows Phone developer promotion network, has announced its expansion to support Windows 8. The service enables developers to advertise their app in other applications who have the advertisement code implemented. It's not primarily a money-making scheme, but more for promotional and app awareness, something which is vital on any mobile platform.

With the announced support for Microsoft's upcoming desktop OS, the network will expand to accommodate developers who will seek to use the service for apps on the Windows Marketplace. Being cross-platform, AdDuplex provides a consistency across both mobile and the desktop, making it easier for developers to drive traffic to their projects.

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Nokia sponsored the recent Tramlines music event, which was held in Sheffield on the weekend just passed. The free-to-attend event saw performances by the likes of Reverend And The Makers, We Are Scientists, Ms. Dynamite, and many more. Nokia kicked everything off with a Lumia Live light show with music from True Tiger on the Tram Lines stage.

The video above shows the display in action with activated rave wristbands.

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Nokia is set to market their first Windows Phone 8 hardware differently, according to a report by the Financial Times. The manufacturer will be entering into partnerships with a handful of EU carriers to exclusively launch their next generation Windows Phone. The newspaper states the company has already entered into talks with a number of operators including France Telecom.

Nokia has traditionally relied on flooding the market with a number of mobile devices in the hope of getting them in the hands of as many consumers as possible. This may well be scrapped for a more exclusive release-based strategy with handpicked partners, much like the deal established with AT&T in the US, or perhaps we could be seeing devices specifically tailored for different carriers with differentiating features and branding?

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Ben ("The PC Guy") Rudolph has continued to take the Smoked by Windows Phone marketing campaign across the states, and he's showing no signs of easing back with more videos being published to the Windows Phone YouTube account. We previously looked at a handful of new videos being added to the account and commented on how we enjoyed the new style, so it's pleasing to see the company continuing to refine and push the platform using this successful campaign.

With the active "Dare to Live" tour in the UK, which is focusing heavily on the number of wins the platform achieves, the Smoked campaign is relaxed to put more emphasis on how Windows Phone can make participant lives easier through a series of challenges. Check out two more videos after the break.

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We've been following the Windows Phone UK Dare to Live tour, which is challenging the public in a number of major city across the UK. Previously, we looked at how the campaign was progressing with the win / loss ratio, and it was revealed that Windows Phone certainly was the leading platform with a considerable lead.

Now the Dare to Live challenge has made its way to Brighton in the south of England. Should you find yourself in and around the area this week, be sure to pop down and check out the event. If you're reading this and use a competitor smartphone, why not try your luck and potentially pocket £20 by beating Windows Phone? Should you lose, well, you know what happens by now.

Thanks, Neil, for the tip and photo!

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US Cellular has informed PCMag that they are looking forward to Windows Phone 8, which will play a major part of the carrier's lineup. The carrier currently holds a single Windows Phone - the HTC 7 Pro. It's a positive sign to see the smaller US carriers positive announce their support for Microsoft's mobile platform.

"We believe in giving our customers the latest technology and device options and we are excited about the Windows 8 phone. It will be an important part of our device lineup going forward."

It's going to be exciting to see which Windows Phone 8 devices go where, and how the carriers play their part in the marketing and promotion of the platform. We're yet to hear anything from Sprint, which has the potential to disappoint loyal Sprint Windows Phone owners who are arguably amongst the most dedicated.

Source: PCMag, via: Engadget; thanks, Michael, for the tip!

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