|Title||A TASTY INVITATION|
|Product / Service||OFFICE 365|
|Entrant||WUNDERMAN INTERNATIONAL Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Entrant Company||WUNDERMAN INTERNATIONAL Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Advertising Agency||WUNDERMAN INTERNATIONAL Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Production Company||POOL Tokyo, JAPAN|
|Daisuke Suzuki||Wunderman International||Creative Director|
|Hirohisa Ogawa||POOL Inc.||Art Director|
|Hirohisa Ogawa||POOL Inc.||Designer|
|Hiroshi Komiya||Wunderman International||Senior Account Executive|
Microsoft needed a more effective way to explain to potential enterprise-class targets the benefits of Office 365. With complex organizational structures at Japan’s biggest companies, even companies like Microsoft have difficulties reaching the right decision makers. Microsoft needed a way to reach those who wield the most influence when it came to decision making within the company – the CEO. But Microsoft had two challenges to overcome: they needed to get past their gate keepers who screen and toss out mail while also working within Japanese corporate culture where business relationships are formed through socializing and drinking out.
The combination of the gift box and the offer for wine was crucial to the success of this direct campaign because together they can cut through and navigate entrenched organizational barriers and delightfully surprise the CEOs. Gate keepers, such as secretaries, cannot so easily discard a directly addressed gift box like other mail. Further, even if case studies and other printed materials can reach the CEO, they cannot stimulate and hit the right emotional chords that a gift of alcohol brings in a culture like Japan, where both alcohol and gift-giving have strong roles in business culture.
Research showed that wine was an interest of many executives in Japan and with the popular beaujolais nouveau wine shortly going on sale, a pathway was found straight to CEOs that got around gate keepers and incorporated the importance of alcohol and direct interaction plays in Japan with building relationships. A crafted wood gift box was sent to the heads of target companies that placed emphasis on an offer for hand delivered wine over the tailored case studies about Office 365 that was also included as Microsoft knew closing a deal needed a personal relationship.
The packages were a hit with CEOs because it was an unconventional offer to receive in the mail, especially in the context of B2B marketing. This unique proposition helped generated a 6.6% response rate. As all redeemed wine bottles were hand delivered by a Microsoft representative, Microsoft gained an opportune introduction to the most coveted contact within target enterprises. While the goal was only for an initial introduction to kick-start a dialogue, any successfully signed client that originally came through this campaign would bring in revenues magnitudes greater than the campaign's entire budget, which was relatively small.