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Microsoft was in the weeds with Covid-19 long before most other brands. Big hospitals, the CDC, police forces, educational institutions—they all rely on Microsoft, so the company had to move swiftly to keep them connected to their stakeholders. On this episode of On Brand, we catch up with Kathleen Hall, Microsoft's chief brand officer, to hear about the impact on the brand and marketing side—given how product and messaging are so intertwined at the company. We also talk about her agencies, McCann and Blk-Ops, whether all brands should aim to do good in the world, and which other companies she's admired lately for their marketing.
1:49 - How Kathleen has been handling WFH.
4:29 - How Covid has changed the way people interact with Microsoft, and vice versa.
7:40 - A look at the Mother's Day spot for Microsoft Teams and the brand's tone in recent advertising.
10:14 - How the award-winning Xbox Adaptive Controller reflects Microsoft's mission to do good in the world—and the confluence of engineering and marketing.
14:04 - If Kathleen thinks all brands should value social good as highly as profits.
15:37 - Other marketers she admires.
17:14 - Microsoft's relationship with its ad agencies.
20:00 - What the next 6-12 months look like for Microsoft.
Every Thursday at 4 p.m., Clio president Nicole Purcell and I chat with top brand marketers—most of whom are still working from home—about the value of creativity, what they want from their agency and solution partners, how they're shepherding their brands through Covid and beyond, and more. See all the On Brand episodes here.
If you're a brand marketer who'd like to take part in the series, please get in touch.