To celebrate the launch of the three new Windows Phones for the US market, Microsoft have launched their biggest marketing ploy ever: A six story tall Windows Phone replica, 150 times bigger than a normal phone, constructed in Manhattan’s Herald Square.
The giant phone attracted a massive crowd, who watched as each of the ’tiles’ on the front of the phone were pulled away to reveal a relevant live demonstration of the phone’s abilities. Pizza was ordered and delivered after a Bing search, then handed out for free to everyone at the event. A live performance from electro-rap outfit Far East Movement came from the Zune tile.
Later, Microsoft celebrated its gaming chops with a zombie dance-off, populated with characters from PopCap’s famous Plants Vs Zombies title. Other popular games like Kinectimals and Fruit Ninja also had characters make an appearance.
The most cringe-worthy (or touching, depending on your perspective) event was saved until near the end, when a member of the Microsoft Windows Phone team proposed to his girlfriend from the lower tile. She looked a bit shaken, but eventually said yes, to the applause of all there.
The new phones, the HTC Radar 4g, the Samsung Focus Flash and Focus S, were also on hand. Attendees who bought one of the new phones were given $25 of Windows Marketplace credit for new apps.
All in all, it was a fairly successful event, and leaps and bounds above Microsoft’s typical marketing efforts, which have always had a reputation for mediocrity or worse. It’ll now be interesting to see if Microsoft keep up the pressure to actually convince the American people (and everyone else) that Windows Phone is actually a viable choice. Their latest market share was only 6%, impressive given the age of the OS, but still a fraction of Android or Apple’s.
If you’d like to learn more about Windows Phones, Microsoft is due to hold more Windows Phone parties in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Each event promises a chance to check out the new Windows Phones as well as enjoy food and live music, so if that’s your thing get in there. Just don’t propose to your girlfriend, how are you going to explain that to your future kids?