Could you describe the scope of the work?
They did two different kinds of work with us. Some projects were direct with us on the client side. These were some of the small, more nimble opportunities that weren’t part of our large, TV, global advertising campaigns. They were always great and really responsive. It might be that we wanted to go head to head with one of our competitors, we wanted to get some buzz, or we wanted to engage the IT [information technology] community specifically, so we played around with different ways to get those viral ideas out there. That was usually client direct. They’d brainstorm with us and some of our PR and advertising team and they’d come back and pitch ideas and go execute those fairly independently.
There were some projects we’ve worked on through the years where they’d be part of these large, global brand advertising campaigns, like a global Windows campaign. In that case, we’d bring them in to think about how to execute or how to build interactive or experiential extensions to the core idea. They did a lot of work with Crispin [Porter + Bogusky] on some of those ideas, the agency of record for Windows at the time.
How long was your relationship with them at Microsoft?
Since they started, Adam and I had worked closely together on MSN, on some of the branded experience things then. Once he went out on his own, we started working together on some projects within MSN and then eventually when I took over advertising at the corporate level. I have no idea how many years that was.
Could you provide a sense of the size of the projects in monetary terms or work hour figures? Ranges would be fine.
There was a huge range. Most of them would be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. There were some smaller things we did. They did some good work for us on Bing to build some mobile apps when that was not as easy or ubiquitous as it is today. In the early years, they did some interactive Bing apps for us, to find food trucks and things like that, leveraging search technology. It was particularly good for us because they’re really well-versed in the Microsoft platforms and products, but they were also very well-versed in new and next technologies that were out there. They usually did a nice job of taking our stuff and then layering in other ways of making it accessible or interactive.