We’re all about smart ways to build your brand. Sometimes it’s through positive interactions online, sometimes through associations and sometimes through the content, campaigns or personas you share or create.

Well, Microsoft just got the “content” part right by telling the story of one of the most-viewed image on computers (that doesn’t include a cat doing something funny). 

They told the story of “bliss”.

003(138) VIDEO: Sometimes, it’s the Little Things That Count (even if you’re as big as Microsoft)

Even Mac fanboys will recognize the image (from school screens, conference rooms or Mom and Dad’s place). It’s the Windows XP desktop wallpaper. Green hill. Blue sky. Pretty clouds. Ringing any bells (see below if it isn’t)? Well, as of April 8, Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP. And Bliss isn’t being carried over to Windows 8.

No big deal, right? Well… not unless you make it one.

Microsoft saw an opportunity to build their brand, connect consumers and users to their product, and evoke just a bit of nostalgia by telling the story of “Bliss”, while also tapping into some questions about the image (some apparently, from inside Microsoft itself).

Where was it taken?

Was it photo-shopped?

If it’s real, what equipment (undoubtedly high-tech) was used to capture it?

They created a video telling the whole story and released it online:

In less than 15 days it has received over 1.1 million views on YouTube (and a lot of comments, ranging from nostalgia to conspiracy theories) almost the same amount on 9gag, and it has been liked nearly hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook. Not bad, and it’s undoubtedly going to continue to spread, generate conversations and elicit the sort of emotional connection that Microsoft wanted.

All that from a wallpaper image that’s being phased out. It’s a tiny (and relatively unimportant) piece of Microsoft’s product, but it’s been turned into little piece brand-building gold.

Just remember, you have to dig for gold. So take a second to think about it. What stories are hidden in your brand that might lead to brilliant content creation and brand interaction? 

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