Baltic PR Awards 2010
Category: Consumer Relations
The most Latvian Windows ever
Even Microsoft themselves have admitted that Windows Vista was a fail. A lot of resources
were spent to promote and develop it, but consumer refused the product as it was too “heavy”
and unstable. Moreover, it brought damage to the reputation of both Microsoft and Windows
“family”. Also in Latvia Windows Vista is perceived as a worst option for personal computers
Microsoft learned from mistakes, engaged with more than 200 000 PC users, asked their
opinions and developed a brand new product – Windows7 (W7). It has even more option than
Vista, and is much faster and easy to use. Latvian version of W7 was not only translated as
Vista, but also fully localised and adapted.
Client briefed a Consultancy to develop a fully local tailor-made campaign that was unusual
for local Microsoft representative. The main goal of the campaign was to focus on reputation –
to use the excellent reputation of upcoming W7 in order to regain the good reputation of
Windows brand and to grab attention of “ordinary” PC users.
Study of global feedback on W7 showed that positive feedback dominates and there is a
bunch of references to use for local communication.
Interview with localisation team resulted in a new strong strategy line.
Social media analysis showed that W7 has a rather good reputation in Latvia but still a low
awareness of upcoming launch and the Latvian version. It resulted in traditional media-
According to international experience primary target group was specified: personal computer
users with low or average interest about technologies.
Stakeholder Analysis helped to identify key IT journalists, bloggers, life-style and business
media; IT specialists; potential partnerships for communication.
W7 Beta version was installed on computers of all involved Consultancy team members to
test the product.
- Share of Latvian version of Windows 7 is at least 15% of sold software.
- Sales in first month after launch at least in the same level as Windows Vista.
- Key bloggers and IT journalists engaged.
- Life-style and regional media covered.
- To focus on traditional life-style and regional media as well as news portals
as key communication channel as social media is covered by international
- To highlight the resources Microsoft has invested to localise the Windows 7
for Latvian users
- To focus on simplicity, low price of upgrade version and global demand
- Strategic focus on traditional media resulted as:
- Tailor-made trainings/demonstrations for bloggers, life-style and IT
journalists. Content was tailored according to the knowledge level of each
- Based on needs of journalists an on-line survey was conducted that
discovered level of knowledge about operating systems in Latvia. Data was
used for several press releases; meanwhile, some media interpreted them
by their own.
- Tailor-made information for Russian media with focus on the fact that
Russian version will be available one week earlier than Latvian
- Security tips for dummies – widely used in women magazines
Strategic focus on Latvian version resulted as:
A nation-wide non-professional photo contest to collect photos representing Latvia in a
collection of upcoming W7 wallpapers
Interviews with localisation team leader Artūrs Rožkalns
Media activities to highlight topic of Latvian language development in IT world, context of
International Language Day used
Strategic focus on simplicity, low price of upgrade version and global demand resulted as:
Results of abovementioned on-line survey demonstrating that “average user” still considers
Windows as “hard to understand” environment.
Publicity event in cooperation with association “Go Blonde” gathering 16 blond top-celebrities
spending more than 2 hours to get familiar with the new Windows 7. They announced later for
present life-style media that Windows 7 is even more easy to use and more “cute” than they
could ever imagine.
Weekly report on global and local demand. Faster interpretation of market share data helped
to reach a high awareness of W7 success story both in on-line and traditional media.
In first month Windows 7 sales in Latvian market over-scored Windows Vista for 20 times
while in USA it was “only” 234% up
Share of Latvian version of Windows 7 sold in Latvia up to 28% compared to 7% in Vista
16 bloggers, life-style and IT journalists visited tailor-made demonstrations of Windows 7, 14
PCs given for test periods, 12 reviews followed
87 on-line media clips, 34 printed media (14 in leading regional newspapers) clips, 3 TV
broadcasts reaching more than 72% of target group.
39% positive, 53% neutral, 8% critical media clips, 91% includes product photos.
Penetration of conveyed messages in 77% of media clips.