A cardboard Surface Pro 3 is how Microsoft is promoting the Surface Pro 3 down-under

Building the best product in the world is only the first step to selling millions of any device. While the Surface Pro 3 is a great machine, its success will only be as good as the marketing push that is behind the device. So, if you want to penetrate the education sector, how can you send these institutions a marketing pamphlet that they might actually look at? 

Simple: Create a cardboard mockup of the Surface Pro 3 that looks identical to the real version, and that's exactly what Microsoft is doing in Australia. As you can see in the video, the cardboard version of the Pro 3 includes a small working screen and a few buttons too. Obviously this is far from a real Pro 3 but the fact that it includes an actual display alongside the promotional details shows that this was not an overnight marketing decision and that a lot of thought has gone into this material.

From a marketing aspect, we have already seen Microsoft go after the Macbook Air and a few other commercials have aired as well. The educational aspect is the latest effort by the company to help push the product into new markets. We have already seen where iPads have come up short when deployed in educational sectors, so this advertising push makes a bit of sense.

Source: YouTube | Via: Winbeta

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So many negative comments, lol. Not surprising. I must be one of the few that thought that was actually pretty creative. not saying it was the best idea, or maybe what should be done, but I've not seen anyone else do it quite like that. If they are just experimenting with doing something different, I think they did a great job.

Yeah I'm seeing way too many bad reviews about this campaign. Personally this looks amazing. It definitely shows that they put time into showing a glimpse of the product.

And no, marketing doesn't sell your products if they're redundant and generally crap and uninspiring. At some point the rubber needs to meet the road and your product needs to speak for itself. This is how *reputation* is built.

Just ask Apple. It's all about user experience. And if it's good enough for long enough, then contenders who seek to outdo that user experience can't simply come up with something adequate with a few different bells and whistles. And a kickstand. They'll need to change the game entirely. Pull a June 2007 or January 2010. MS hasn't done that. Can't remember when they ever really have in recent memory, actually.

It's no accident they're such bumblers.

Quadra 610 said,

Just ask Apple. It's all about user experience.

Check the page of support of Apple, of check the forums of Apple.

And this is just another example of why Microsoft are where they are in today's market dynamics (that is, nowhere.)

Their entire mobile and tablet strategies are dismal failures. And new management under Satya - which really isn't new at all - doesn't seem to have any ideas as to wtf to do. It makes no sense for consumers to spend money on sinking product lines.

Is it even recyclable once you're done with it or the display/audio stops working? Otherwise, it's unnecessary marketing e-waste.

I do think it's nicely designed for cardboard though.

Packet1009 said,
somehow the thought of a cardboard replica just seems chintzy

As opposed to a pamphlet that gets tossed with the rest of the junk mail?

I don't see how supplying cardboard mockups are more effective than sending free samples of the real thing. Either way it's a tax write off.

seeprime said,
I don't see how supplying cardboard mockups are more effective than sending free samples of the real thing. Either way it's a tax write off.

If you get a free sample, there's not much incentive to go buy the real thing since you already have the real thing. Just think for 2 seconds before you start typing next time.

Thank you for your well thought out insult. You apparently grasp marketing techniques and sales in a superior manner. Even though you exhibit such extreme shrewdness, I still believe that accommodation samples to schools is a superior marketing tactic than a novelty cardboard item. Each to their own opinion. That took two seconds to think about.

seeprime said,
Thank you for your well thought out insult. You apparently grasp marketing techniques and sales in a superior manner. Even though you exhibit such extreme shrewdness, I still believe that accommodation samples to schools is a superior marketing tactic than a novelty cardboard item. Each to their own opinion. That took two seconds to think about.

Or they can send these out first to see who's interested before sending out demo units. That's another 2 seconds.

This is the best idea the marketing department came up with? I believe a college freshman business marketing class could do better.

JHBrown said,
This is the best idea the marketing department came up with? I believe a college freshman business marketing class could do better.

There are tons of people who wouldn't even consider the SP3 because they're under the impression that it's too large for a tablet or too small for a laptop or because they can't visualize what a 3:2 aspect ratio is like. There are also tons of people who aren't near a Microsoft store to look at one in person but would consider purchasing one online. This is a way a dispel a few myths with little effort. Even though the unit cost of these things is probably 10x the cost of a simple flyer, it's actually a brilliant marketing idea. This is not something that will get tossed with the rest of the junk mail. It WILL get noticed.

TMYW said,

There are tons of people who wouldn't even consider the SP3 because they're under the impression that it's too large for a tablet or too small for a laptop or because they can't visualize what a 3:2 aspect ratio is like. There are also tons of people who aren't near a Microsoft store to look at one in person but would consider purchasing one online. This is a way a dispel a few myths with little effort. Even though the unit cost of these things is probably 10x the cost of a simple flyer, it's actually a brilliant marketing idea. This is not something that will get tossed with the rest of the junk mail. It WILL get noticed.

Here in the US, we have other B&M stores that carry the SP3 - BestBuy, Staples, Walmart, etc. Not sure about other countries though. If I were MS, I'd be working hard to partner with B&M stores (specifically in these other countries).

tsupersonic said,
Here in the US, we have other B&M stores that carry the SP3 - BestBuy, Staples, Walmart, etc. Not sure about other countries though. If I were MS, I'd be working hard to partner with B&M stores (specifically in these other countries).

that's exactly what Microsoft is doing in Australia.

Partnering with B&Ms takes time, and it's especially difficult if there are many small players instead of a few giant players like in the US.

Why not use a real SP3 to promote the capabilities of the device? Just seems like a waste of time to create a model with working screen/buttons when you could show off the real deal - this to me shows Microsoft has no faith in their own product.

tsupersonic said,
this to me shows Microsoft has no faith in their own product.

Your post shows me that people will criticize Microsoft for virtually anything.

TMYW said,

Your post shows me that people will criticize Microsoft for virtually anything.

Oh please, I would have said the same if Apple/Google/Amazon/<insert other tech company> did something similar. Don't get your panties in a bunch because we have different opinions.

TMYW said,

Your post shows me that people will criticize Microsoft for virtually anything.

It's CARDBOARD. HELLLOOO!! Use your head. Consumers' first impression with this product will be with some sort of cardboard mockup with tacked-on functionality. Way to disrespect your product. Microsoft pours oodles of money into the waste of space called "Microsoft Research" (an oxymoron if there ever was one), YET chooses to *show off* their premiere flagship baby with a cardboard . . . thing.

No problem, though: Satya is shaping up to be exactly the CEO that Apple and Google want at MS.

Arron said,
Neat idea, looked a bit awkward pressing those buttons though

Yes, it's awkward if you try pressing the buttons with one hand while holding your phone in the other trying to take videos of yourself pressing those buttons.

It's even more awkward if you're seen in public trying use a marketing prop as a real tablet and complaining about the poor ergonomics.