By House Party
In 2009, Microsoft engaged the in-home marketing company House Party to help launch the Windows 7 operating system with consumers around the globe. In all, House Party executed over 40,000 Launch Parties in 12 countries and seven languages, delivering the most potent results yet from a House Party event. Deploying the sophisticated House Party system of consumer engagement and activation, each host was selected from a much larger pool of applicants clamoring to be selected for the opportunity to host one of the parties. Those chosen received a free copy of Windows 7 Ultimate and became among the very first to experience Windows 7. Hosts invited a group of 10+ friends into their home to experience Windows 7 via a carefully sculpted in-home party, and used House Party's proprietary online tools and resources to plan their parties, document their activities and share their experience online and via social media, exponentially increasing the reach of their in-home parties. All e-mail and online activity is highlighted within our entry link as well as party and party pack photos.
Since 2005 House Party has been engaging consumers on behalf of its Fortune 500 clients, consisting of some of the world's largest and most prestigious consumer brands. Each House Party program is a carefully choreographed sequence of events that combines a precisely deployed set of logistics, a proprietary suite of online consumer-facing tools, a back-end program management infrastructure, a team of uniquely experienced in-home marketing experts and a sophisticated measurement and reporting methodology that documents the impressive results that Fortune 500 marketers require. To document the results of this global campaign in the most rigorous terms possible, House Party added a new feature to its industry-leading measurement methodology: a third-party research firm was engaged to augment House Party's measurements and field a carefully selected control panel so that results could be empirically compared to a control group.
Each House Party program consists of thousands of in-home parties hosted by carefully selected consumers. At each party, the host's friends and family are engaged to sample, experience and learn about the sponsor brands in a trusted, clutter-free, authentic environment. The parties and their online extensions reliably drive deep engagement, broad reach and strong lifts in awareness, favorability, advocacy and purchase-intent, among both partygoers and their "conversation partners." Additionally the programs drive purchase, traffic to retail, opt-ins, extensive product trials and peer-to-peer endorsement at unparalleled levels and with very strong price efficiency and ROI, especially when executed in conjunction with a broader media and marketing campaign.
The Windows 7 Launch Parties were a huge success -- partygoers were thrilled about the chance to try the operating system before it hit the market, and House Party harnessed that enthusiasm to:
- Generate deep engagement and broad word-of-mouth reach. The Launch Parties sparked positive and frequent discussions about Windows 7, both online and off-. Soon after the parties, hosts and guests reported discussing the event with an average of 12 conversation partners each; within 30 days of the parties, over 25 million unique word-of-mouth participants learned of the event through direct conversation. Furthermore, partygoers were highly active on House Party's Windows 7 Launch Party microsite, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and other external social media sites. In all, the event generated over 78 million brand impressions and over 2 million hours of consumer engagement.
- Drive dramatic, immediate lifts in awareness, attitudes and sales. Just 30 days after the parties, 64% of U.S. partygoers, 42% of their conversation partners, and 16% of their conversation partners had purchased Windows 7, for a total of over 3.4 million purchases. In addition, participants, compared with the control panel of U.S. consumers, were:
- 86% more favorable towards Windows 7
- 211% more familiar with the operating system, with over 70% agreeing with each of Microsoft's five core value-proposition messages.
- Build on these positive impacts over the next six months. The Launch Parties not only inoculated participants from the impact-decay normally seen after a media and marketing campaign but continued to drive stronger results. A full six months after the parties. the participants, compared with the control panel, were still:
o Over twice as knowledgeable about Windows 7
o Over twice as likely to purchase it
o Over six times as likely to recommend it
- Multiply the effects of Microsoft's other marketing and media. One of the most potent results of a House Party program is its effect on the other media deployed in the same campaign. Consistent with typical House Party results, this program also made the other media in the Windows 7 campaign perform better, producing a "media multiplier" effect that was powerful and long lasting. Six months after being reached by the parties, participants, compared with the control panel, were:
- 40% more likely to notice Windows 7 television ads
- 40% more likely to recognize the ads' messages
- 83% more favorable toward the ads
September - November 2009
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