Microsoft is donating a massive war chest of £28m to Nokia and Samsung’s seasonal advertising campaigns in a last ditch attempt to grab UK market share for Windows Phone devices.
Nokia is set to get the lion’s share as Microsoft’s strategic partner. Sources indicate the Finnish manufacturer will receive up to £20m of funding to promote the launch of the first Nokia smartphone to run on Microsoft’s latest Windows 7.5 (Mango) operating system. The company is expected to launch the device later this month.
The £20m deal is part of a wider strategic agreement between Nokia and Microsoft to work together on joint marketing initiatives and future Windows Phone portfolios. Samsung has signed up to a similar deal with Microsoft.
Nokia has tasked its ad agencies to develop an integrated campaign to showcase its Mango-powered smartphone, with emphasis on the strength of its social media features as well as its apps and games.
Nokia’s multimedia smartphone ads will run across all media touchpoints and channels and will be backed by Microsoft’s commitment to a huge spend on in-store marketing deals.
A source said: ‘Microsoft is funding a massive campaign with Nokia across every single media you can imagine. It’s the last roll of the dice for them. They must go big, bad and boldly. Microsoft is desperate to kick the hell out of Android. If they can get across how amazing Mango is they could really crack it this time.’
Samsung is also due to unveil a major Christmas ad push for the Omnia W with an estimated £8m spend.
Details of how much funding the Korean firm has received from Microsoft are sketchy, but it is understood that the ad will focus on its ‘multimedia something for everyone’ unique selling point.
The Mango update was officially released a fortnight ago with a range of new handsets due to be released over the coming weeks.
Microsoft would not confirm the marketing figures, but in a statement Windows Phone Division president Andy Lees said: ‘It’s not good enough to have a ramp that’s similar to other guys, you have to ramp faster. That’s what we are aiming to do this holiday season, and particularly into 2012.’
Editor: Carol Millett