Microsoft uses content cards to engage milliennials for OneNote's collective project


Microsoft wanted to generate awareness among students during back to school season for its digital note taking app OneNote.

Client Microsoft
Industry Technology
Sharethrough Ad Type Content Engagement Ad
We really looked at bringing students through the experience and letting the campaign come to life on its own. We didn’t have a lot of pre-planned content. A lot of it was real-time and typical banner ads were just not going to work for us.
Emilie Bridon
SR. Marketing Manager, Microsoft


Microsoft is constantly competing with Apple for a grip on students, whose buying decisions often carry with them throughout the rest of their lives. Microsoft had to create relevant content that spoke to millennial students in order to drive OneNote adoption.


Microsoft used Content Engagement Ads to amplify six Tumblr posts, a longform video featuring Iron Man IRL (Robert Downey Jr.) and a Vine video created by Vine influencer Zach King.

Using a Tumblr Card, Microsoft reached new users outside of Tumblr with the Tumblr experience. In the card, the Tumblr post appears with social sharing buttons and unique calls to action and Tumblr Follow button.

Microsoft took advantage of Sharethrough’s Tumblr Cards to pull Tumblr content into interactive ad units that fit natively on publisher sites. Because the content is dynamically rendered, people didn’t have to leave the site they were on to view the ad.


OneNote drove significant awareness with students, resulting in a 52% increased engagement rate using content cards compared to previous Website Visit Ads. Microsoft learned it was more important to have users engage with content than increase traffic to specific content pages.


Increased Engagement