Press release – 11 August 2008 – Multimap
Multimap, the Microsoft UK’s specialist online mapping service, is launching a new digital advertising campaign to increase traffic and raise awareness of new features following the redesign of its site.
The creative has been design by digital agency LBi, which has collaborated with Aardman Animations of Wallace and Gromit fame, and is the first time that Multimap has used character-based advertising.
The campaign features a pair of hapless pigeons who illustrate Multimap’s Bird’s Eye view, business and route finding services through a series of animated misadventures. One execution invites consumers to ask the pigeons to find “swimming pools in Barnsley”, and shows them mistakenly hurling themselves off a diving board into a puddle.
Another execution suggests consumers ask the pigeons about ‘London landmarks to coo over’ and shows the birds flying smack into both Nelson’s Column and a Trafalgar Square street sign.
Jim Cruickshank, director of mapping, shopping and local for Microsoft EMEA, said: “The pigeon characters are a fun way to highlight specific features that follow the redesign of the site, such as our new directions service including walking directions.
“These are part of our commitment to offering a comprehensive range of journey planning tools and the campaign should raise awareness, encourage trial and drive traffic to the site.”
Jeremy Garner, creative director of LBi, added: “Positioning Multimap as accessible and friendly was important, and LBi creating this campaign was key to that.
“The pigeon characters make the point that Multimap’s new functionality is ingenious and powerful, whilst still being very easy to use.
“We worked with Aardman Animations because of their unrivalled expertise in creating charming characters with animation. We wanted our pigeons to be cute, but a bit daft too, and we think Aardman captured that perfectly. We plan to make more of them as new features are launched.”
The creative team was Jeremy Garner (Creative Director and copywriter) and Ben Long (Creative Group Head and art director) at LBi. The campaign will run across the MSN network of sites including Multimap.
LBi produced concepts, user experience specifications, architecture and wireframes and graphic design for Multimap’s site redesign, following the acquisition by Microsoft in December 2007.
Multimap offers a wealth of information for travellers from door-to-door travel directions and a range of street-level maps of Europe, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, road maps of the world and aerial and Bird’s Eye photography.
As well as links to location information and services such as hotels, restaurant and entertainment booking and local business listings, a mashup with Wikipedia highlights interesting locations and local history.