The Challenge: Back-to-school season is one of the biggest shopping events of the year, and new college students are looking for electronics to bring with them to campus. This year, Microsoft wanted to make sure its line of Windows laptops and mobile devices would be top-of-mind for parents and students alike. 
The Solution: Two social campaigns captured the attention of a busy audience: in #GearUp, striking black & white photography (captured by renowned adventure photographer Chris Burkard) crystalized those fleeting summer moments in time, using a visual diary-inspired theme. Breaking from the tradition of product-focused “hero” photography, Microsoft’s gear was woven naturally into the fabric of the images through authentic, candid scenarios.
In the #8WordEssays series, images were posted to Microsoft’s Twitter page, where fans were asked to interpret the meaning of each image and write a microsized “8 Word Essay” on what they saw or felt, with the winning captions receiving a prize. Even a busy student couldn’t turn down an assignment that easy.
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