Microsoft and Stranger Things Season 3 campaign

Microsoft + Stranger Things Revitalizing a Brand Through Media Partnership

We created a robust partnership campaign between Netflix and Microsoft around the launch of Stranger Things Season 3. Our goal was to increase shared brand love, drive social engagement, and make Windows part of the pop culture conversation. We leveraged shared values and a common insight to pay off Microsoft’s mission of empowerment through technology and deliver a ton of custom, unique content that Stranger Things and Microsoft fans would love.

Strategy

  • Audience insights and targeting
  • Messaging strategy
  • Positioning

Creative

  • Activation design
  • Digital design

Content + Media

  • Content creation
  • Social media strategy
  • Content development

Building Hype through Social

A Strange Trip Back in Time

Stranger Things Season 3 takes place in 1985—the same year Microsoft released the original Windows. We teased the partnership campaign by taking Windows social channels back to 1985, with throwback content we knew fans would love. Then, we invoked a spirit of discovery and intrigue with our fanbase by turning our social channels strange.

Microsoft Linkedin page with retro branding and Windows 1.11 campaign posts

App Development

Retro Windows for the Modern Fan

After building the hype on social media, we delivered in a totally tubular way. We partnered with a development team to create a strange rerelease of the original Windows called Windows 1.11. Featuring throwback Microsoft technology, retro games and graphics, unique content, and more, it combined everything fans love about Stranger Things with everything they love about Windows. We created throwback kits for influencers and had them help spread the word. The world took notice in a major way.

Social influencers received Microsoft Windows 1.1 packages.
Windows 1.1 announcement letter in 1980’s Microsoft branding
Youtube influencer CouRage with Windows 1.11 packaging
Campaign image: The Hawkins Post journal entry for June 29th
Campaign image: Starcourt Mall floor plan

Web Content

Radical Things for All

In addition to the app, we created a unique set of throwback and Stranger Things content for Microsoft fans and customers. We made the partnership into an entire ecosystem with digital web store takeovers, custom themes, and more.

Digital takeover: Stranger Things wallpaper theme in the Microsoft store
Digital takeover: Windows Throwback theme in the Microsoft store
Microsoft Windows landing page featuring Windows 1.1 and Stranger Things campaign content
Stranger Things Season 3 wallpaper theme image

Event/Experiential

Using the Past to Look Forward

We used the app launch as a way to transition from past to present to future. The kids of Stranger Things embody Microsoft’s vision of the power of technology education. And so we used them as a way to help teach a new generation how to save the world. We took the fictional camp from the show—Camp Know Where—and turned it into a real experience at Microsoft stores. We created custom Stranger Things–inspired classes. Of course, we used the smartest girl in the camp to promote it, becoming the first and only brand to work with Suzie.

Camp Know Where, Stranger Things themed technology classes at Microsoft stores
Camp Know Where, Stranger Things themed technology classes at Microsoft stores
Camp Know Where, Stranger Things themed technology classes at Microsoft stores
Bill Gates recommended Camp Know Where technology classes on Twitter