Innovation That Matters

Magazine ad offers free wifi to readers


Microsoft has placed a wifi-enabled print ad in Forbes to promote its Office 365 software, providing free internet to those who keep the magazine with them.

Considering its value to consumers, offering free wifi is by now an established way to promote products, and we recently wrote about the wifi movie posters used to market The Berlin File film in South Korea. Now Microsoft has offered a twist on the concept, launching a wifi-enabled print ad to promote its Office 365 software. The ad was placed in a special edition of Forbes magazine – sent out to a select group of readers – and consisted of four back-to-back pages with an ultra-thin router and battery sandwiched in between. Once activated, the router provided users with 15 days of free internet courtesy of T-Mobile and could be used by five devices simultaneously. Although the battery only provided two to three hours of power, lifting a flap in the ad enabled users to plug in a mini-USB cable to gain extra charge. While the aim of the ad was to promote just how mobile the internet now is and encourage readers to purchase Microsoft’s cloud-based Office 365, the campaign also turned the magazine into a valuable utility. Rather than leaving it in the office or at home, the 15 days’ free wifi provided an incentive for readers to carry the magazine around with them, giving them time to actually engage with the content. Demonstrating how easy it is to offer an internet connection, could we see this kind of campaign used more often in the future to boost the diving sales of print media?



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