Microsoft started its "Smoked by Windows Phone" campaign in January during CES 2012. It was a viral effort as Windows Phone rep Ben Rudolph challenged people at CES to complete tasks on their smartphones faster than he did on his Windows Phone device; clips of those challenges were later uploaded to YouTube. Most of the time, Rudolph won. The campaign evolved even more as Rudolph went to some California Microsoft Stores to offer the same "Smoked by Windows Phone" challenges to store customers.
In a post on the Windows Phone blog site, Rudolph writes, " ... the videos of the challenges have been viewed over 500,000 times on YouTube; and the #1 request on the our suggestions page is to make an ad campaign featuring the challenges."
Now Microsoft is taking the campaign from a cheap viral marketing gig to a full fledged online ad push. Microsoft's Windows Phone blog site announced that a large number of popular web sites will begin running 15 and 30 second video ads that feature the "Smoked by Windows Phone" theme. One of them can be seen in the video above this post. Clicking through the ads will take visitors to the Windows Phone Facebook page, Rudolph adds, "This is just the beginning. Look for more videos and fun stuff soon!"