Microsoft: Stranger Things
Can you uncover the secrets of the Upside Down?
Wasserman recruited Future Colossal to produce the digital experience, Microsoft Windows 1.11 – in the style of the iconic Windows 1.0 operating system from 1985 – to complement Netflix’s Stranger Things: Season 3.
Design, Development, Production
Part of Microsoft and Netflix’s Camp Know Where Campaign, the Windows 1.11 experience was mysteriously taken over by Stranger Things’ ‘Upside Down’ and was stocked with show clips, images, Easter eggs, as well as 80’s retro-inspired mini-games. We took users on a digital journey where they could experience nostalgia, discover show secrets, complete challenges, and ultimately solve the mystery behind Windows 1.11.
"If you were one of the many people confused and curious about Microsoft’s apparent time-traveling social media blitz last week, wonder no more. As several astute fans guessed, the retro throwback was part of a collaboration with Netflix in support of Stranger Things, which just released its third season. The show is set in the year 1985, the same year that Microsoft released Windows 1.0."
— Ars Technica
Loaded with show clips, images, and Easter eggs, as well as 80’s retro-inspired mini-games, we took users on a digital journey into the world of Stranger Things: Season 3 where they could experience nostalgia, discover show secrets, complete challenges, and ultimately solve the mystery behind Windows 1.11.
For delivery of Windows 1.11 to the public, we utilized Microsoft’s Unified Windows Platform (UWP) providing us the ability to publish directly to the Microsoft Store and reach massive national and international audiences running wide varieties of windows 10 configurations.
This allowed us to reach audiences globally for the day and release of Stranger Things: Season 3.
All aspects of the experience were custom drawn, designed, and developed in Unity and included in-games objectives such as:
- Uncovering hidden videos and images in a possessed version of MS Paint
- Evading soldiers and collecting secret documents in the ASCII-based dungeon crawler dubbed, Code Red
- Hacking into a secret organization through a frantic keyboard mashing program, called silvercatfeeds
- Solving a classic Windows sliding puzzle with a twist
- Evading a terrifying monster through the side scroller driving game Escape!
- Duking it out 1-on-1 with a monster and fireworks in a climactic boss battle
Using Unity and Microsoft’s UWP, we were afforded the flexibility to create and deliver a highly tailored digital brand experience to a wide audience of Microsoft and Stranger Things fans.
The results were astounding, translating into:
- 95,000 plays
- 67,000 unique users
- 1.1 million total minutes played
- 6,700 unique users with 100% completion
- 4 stars in the Microsoft Store
- 80+ articles written for publications like Adweek, Ars Technica, CNET, Engadget, Gizmodo and Polygon
- A Gold and Silver Award in Eventmarketer’s 2019 Event Technology Awards with the Camp Know Where Campaign
“We’re excited to be able to transport fans to one of our favorite years, and to empower them to leverage technology to do extraordinary things, just like the heroes of the show.”
— Eli Friedman, Microsoft