Microsoft Education: Back-to-school in a global pandemic

SHARE and Microsoft Education partnered to increase awareness and usage of Microsoft Teams and Windows 10 devices during a pandemic that is transforming education as we know it.

Using insights from our Microsoft Education NYC campaign from March 2020, we had a baseline for what content teachers and school leaders were engaging with. We used these, further market and competitor analysis to build the new campaign. Just as with the previous one, we needed to show our audience that we understand their current situation. Also, how we can empower and prepare them for a new era of education with Microsoft Teams, Personal Development courses and Windows 10 devices.

Launching a back-to-school campaign

This campaign was launching at a pertinent time for schools. Amidst a global pandemic, leaders were reflecting on the initial disruption to education and wondering how to prepare for the future. We had to stand out in a crowded market and align our messaging to reflect the ongoing digital transformation of education.

Indeed, it wasn’t necessary for us to introduce Teams to our audiences. Our new creative needed to solve their pain points and build their confidence as they progress through their new learning paths.

From initial insights, we learned that we needed to educate our audiences on Teams in a way that engages them to learn and explore. We also needed to showcase the core benefits of using Windows 10 devices for education over competitors and identify our core points of differentiation. We used these findings to build our creative treatment, a bold typography-led campaign, accompanied by product tutorials, device shots and lifestyle imagery – outlining the clear shift to the future of education, with Microsoft.

On reflection, we exceeded all campaign KPIs including impressions (+30%), clicks to site (+1700%) and leads (+9%). New inclusions of Taboola and Twitter drove a higher amount of traffic than historical media placements, while driving a time on site average higher than benchmarks.​

The performance of creative varied across different platforms for different audiences, with the benefits of the Teams app resonating extremely well with both school leaders and educators. For this particular campaign, we discovered that optimising ads with an average performance improved their results much more significantly compared to results from lower performance optimisation. This insight enabled us to be much more efficient in future campaigns when choosing what to optimise, and how we do it.

  • Account Manager: Xuan Vo
  • Paid Media Executive: Stefania Garovnik
  • Paid Media Strategist: Sam Faulkner
  • Creative Director: Alex Hill
  • Head of Creative: Robyn Saunders
  • Copywriter: Jack Watkins
  • Designer: Joshua Smith
  • Motion Designer: Tom Stephens
  • Motion Designer: Sam Cross