Microsoft crowdsourcing ads for Windows Phones


In the rare chance you’ve ever criticized a Microsoft advertisement, well here’s your opportunity to finally unleash your creative spark to do one better and earn some cold hard cash as well.

windowsphonesmilesGearing up to the wave of Windows Mobile 6.5-powered devices shipping later this year, Microsoft is currently planning a large-scale worldwide advertising campaign starting October 1 to promote the new “Windows Phones” brand. And they want your ideas on innovative ways to promote “Windows phones”.

Microsoft has teamed up with, a website that allows companies to publish advertising briefs and crowdsource freelance graphics designers, directors, animators and writers to develop innovative creatives in return for cash prizes, to offer anyone the opportunity to contribute video, print, radio or web ads or even ad concepts with a total cash prize of $14,000 up for grabs.

The competition will run from August 5 to October 5 at the end of which both Microsoft and the community will decide the best ads in each category.

Although the competition is currently only on Zooppa’s Italian website, I’m hoping it will be available to English users as well. If not, then you better learn some Italian quick. However if you’re already fluent in Italian, you can find a more detailed brief here.

Even though the product still leaves much to be desired, it’s nice to see Microsoft experimenting with new concepts not just in technology but marketing too. If some good ads do come out of this competition, it’ll be interesting to see too if Microsoft will actually run them.

Update: As commenter “The Evangelist” have noted, the English Zooppa competition page seems to be up now but still features an Italian brief. Hopefully it’s a sign that it will indeed be open to English users too.

10 insightful thoughts

  1. It’s an interesting concept, but if Microsoft is actually going to use those ads – they should be paying more than the paltry “prize” money offered.

    If they went to an agency for a major print, radio, web, and TV campaign they’d be looking at a significantly higher cost. More than likely some multiple of $100k USD for it. Offering $600 is pretty weak.

  2. Now why not pour money into marketing Zune since that is the Microsoft product people are least aware of and spend some on fixing Windows Mobile user interfsce?

  3. @Will Highes: Well, this would make for cheap advertising for Microsoft. Also, if Microsoft did publish the ads, whoever designed them could add a major company to their marketing credentials. I do agree that it is pretty weak though, even if intentionally low.

    It would seem that an “American” page is up at, but the brief is still in Italian instead of English.

  4. Hi, I’m the italian community manager of Zooppa. Thanks for your post and your attention to our Windows Phone contest. Yes, I can confirm: we are open to English users too. But not only English people: users from all over the world that want to make an ad in English for Microsoft. We have also other amazing international creative competitions, for example “I love Internet” sponsored by Wired magazine (the Italian edition), and all the contests you can find in the USA platform

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