New Smoked by Windows Phone ads start today!

New Smoked by Windows Phone ads start today!

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Over the last few months “Smoked by Windows Phone” has been a huge success—we’ve seen over 25,000,000 views of our videos and digital ads and run more than 150,000 in-person challenges in 45 countries worldwide.

Those are some pretty big numbers. So we thought “Why stop there?”

Today I’m proud to lift the curtain on a new set of Smoked ads that will run through the summer. This time, rather than challenge people at Microsoft Stores (or on the CES show floor), we hit the streets of Seattle, asking real smartphone users to complete common tasks like taking photos and posting them to Facebook, finding awesome places to eat, or connecting with someone on a social network.

In this spot, for instance, I meet Ramona, a new Seattleite who just moved here from Montana. After talking to her for a few minutes I quickly learn three things: she loves seafood, hates to cook, and spends her free time with her friends. So I challenge her to find a great nearby seafood restaurant and share the details with a few of her friends. If her Android phone gets it done faster than my Windows Phone, dinner is on me.

Take a look to see how things go down:

You’ll probably run into the new ads over the next few months all over the web, on MSNBC and MSN — even on Skype or your Xbox — but if you’re impatient you can check all of them out right now on the Windows Phone Challenge YouTube playlist.

And remember: if you like what you see, spread the word using the hashtag #smokedbywindowsphone!


Don’t forget to follow Windows Phone on Twitter and like us on Facebook. And remember to follow me on Twitter to ask questions or just say hi.

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  • eboy
    15 Posts

    Guys, Windows Phone is awesome and I'm one of the proud owner for some months. AT&T is literally back stabbing Microsoft at their stores. The store representatives force their customers on Apple and Droids since they don't know what to talk about Windows Phone. Its not the store representative fault because their goal is to sell the maximum number of device no matter what it dose for the end user and they take the easy job of selling the things they are familiar with.

    My kind advice to Microsoft is  to fire your whole marketing department and think something out of the box. Just like you did to the OEM with the surface tablet. If you don't do it better, we'll show how to do it - like that attitude.

    Customers are like kids watching cartoon channel. Its your marketing department to make it work.

  • LTRx
    1 Posts

    this is what I got from the contest:

    Drop that mop! You've won a $150 gift card at Molly Maid, courtesy of Windows Phone. Use Microsoft OneNote to plan your spring cleaning and let Molly Maid do the rest. They'll tidy up while you spend more time doing what you love. Windows Phone makes everyday faster.

    There's nothing you need to do except look for your prize within 1-2 weeks after promotion conclusion, which is May 31, 2012. Your digital code will be sent to this email address. If we happen to need additional information from you, we will contact you at this email address.

    have written them twice 5/12 & 7/3/12

    still no response or 'prize'

    anyone know what gives?

  • @KR... Congrats on your HTC One S.  But it seems to me that you are still howling at the wind in regards to apps.  You are blaming MSFT for not having your banking app.  Last time, I checked MSFT is not a bank (of course Timothy G might find a way to make them one someday).  If it is imperative that you have mobile banking choose a bank that does have mobile banking.  

    A decade ago, I moved to a different region of the US, which required me changing my personal bank.    Of course, there was a host of local banks in the region, but only one regional bank had online banking; therefore, it became and still is my bank to this day.   I would never had blamed MSFT... it was the bank's fault.

    Point is simple... At some point time the platform is good enough, if you provider can't learn how to use the platform, then it's your providers arrogance or ignorance... Not MSFT.  

    And yes my bank has an official WP App.

  • KR
    503 Posts


    The one s has beefier hardware but is priced as a Lumina 900 or approximately the same here in Canada, so don't hang on the hardware to feel better about how angelic WP is(particularly up north). You get way more for the same cash with the one s.that's the cold truth.

    As for non official apps well you first need to hope you'll find one(banking apps as an example), and should you be fortunate to find one hope it works well(example Google maps on wm6.5 outperforms gaps pro on  WP)

    You'll probably tell me you Bing maps, well guess what,bing maps is crap outside the USA, and I'm sure even Google  maps is better down there to(it was so a few months back when I was in the states and compared a few features)

  • xaotica
    1 Posts

    Sigh. I genuinely really like WP, so I don't understand its bizarre marketing strategy at all. You make this really lovely interface and then every ad is "You won't want to interact with it!" "You can quickly get back to whatever you were trying to do before!' "You can get things done and then get rid of the phone again!" etc. People don't buy smartphones with a goal of not interacting with them. They're expensive products. If I spend that much money on a phone, you'd better believe I'm going to be playing with it all the time, and I'm not going to be in a hurry to get it over with either.

    The whole "let's target market to 'millenials' (ugh) with the worst of electronic music" thing is really more of an anti-sales pitch to my peers. Also, the idea of quickly finding the nearest random restaurant and doing no research on it makes no sense to me. I have a smartphone so that I can read about things. If I wanted to walk into a totally random place, I'd just do that.

    When I saw the Surface ad, I thought "It's a shame Windows Phone doesn't try that strategy." It isn't comparing itself to other products, trying to create some pseudo-MTV interaction, etc... it's just hanging out, putting its design at the forefront. I strongly agree with the first commenter - the lovely UI *is* Windows Phone, and should be at the forefront of its marketing.

  • You know, I tire of the complaints about not having apps without following that up with details articulating exactly what's missing.  On the few times I do see this, what usually follows is that the user never bothered to look for third-party apps that do the same thing.  I often find the third-party apps do it better than the so-called official apps anyway.  Pandora is a classic example.  I could care less if Pandora ever comes up with an official apps---MetroRadio and Radio Controlled are two of the slickest apps for Pandora around.  Someone mentioned cross-platform messaging...I've seen a plethora of those apps in the Marketplace.  Are you actually saying you've tried every one of them and none of them work for you?  Sheesh.

    Now, for you enterprise users, I think it's pretty clear that WP7 was never meant for the true enterprise user, something Microsoft has seriously engaged in WP8.  Also, while we were led to believe early on (due to Microsoft remaining conspicuously silent on the issue) that carriers wouldn't really be able to interfere with updates, the fact turned out to be that carriers could choose NOT to update AT ALL.  This is an approach that both Samsung and AT&T are now NOTORIOUS for.  I love the original Focus.  But I will never again buy another Samsung mobile device.  Never.  They are horrible at supporting their devices---I don't care WHAT platform you use.  And AT&T can't be bothered with getting off their lazy butts to deploy updates except when they almost have no choice....that's why they have refused to push any updates since Mango (I used the trick to change my carrier to Rogers, CA, in order to trick my phone into receiving the update for the keyboard fix) and will likely wait until 7.8 comes out.  In fact, I'll bet that will be the final update any legacy phone gets from Samsung and AT&T.

    Having said that, there's a nebulous claim from Microsoft that starting with WP8 all updates will be OTA.  Again, until I actually see a post from Sinofsky or Belfiore that makes that claim explicit, I won't hold my breath.  I WILL say, though, that it makes sense since WP8 will be built on the same core as the desktops & tablets, which means there's no reason why it would be able to be updated exactly the same way we update our desktops now.

    Here's the thing to remember, though.  WP8 will be very much like the desktop now, which means the capabilities will be virtually only limited to what the hardware is capable of (much like desktops).  With apps being able to easily convert up & down the ecosystem I dare say apps will explode in number & variety.

    I started with the Focus because it had an incredibly awesome screen and the one thing none of the others had: microSDHC slot.  I now use the Lumia 900 because it is, top to bottom, one of the most--if not THE most--beautifully designed and made smartphones in existence.  The biggest issue I have--and the one that still has me look longingly at the Focus--is the anemic storage.  I have 40GB on my Focus, and I'm in a CONSTANT battle of managing storage on the Lumia (only 200MB remaining).  That, of course, changes with WP8 as all sorts of hardware will be supported.  But even so, starting with Mango, I have yet to run into a capability not available either natively or via some sort of app.  I'm not stuck on "official" apps.  I'll hold onto my Lumia 900--which Nokia is CLEARLY determined to continue to support, update and expand--until the second round of WP8 devices comes up---I'm not going to be an early adopter of WP8, because I'm absolutely sure all them will be rushed out to market.

    BTW, the only reason the HTC One S is that smooth compared to WP7 devices is because it's so new and relies on a LOT beefier hardware to accomplish that.  I'm not impressed.

  • @Mantlo - Welcome to the blog!

    Your questions are great, and I think you'll like the answers...

    -----> Looks fast now, but what about Windows Rot?  (it exists, stop denying it)

    I've had my HTC Arrive since it launched in March of 2011.  It's as fast now as it was then.  Sprint's 3G Service in the Seattle area has slowed dramatically, but the phone's internal functioning is still fully smooth and fast, no lag or drag.  This is NOT like an XP machine, where you want to wipe and reinstall every 12-18 months.

    -----> Will I have constant critical security updates? (does anyone at MS test security?)

    No, there aren't constant updates.  In fact, many of us wish the updates WOULD come more frequently, but those are for adding features and correcting non-security issues.  I believe it's been very well tested as far as security goes.

    -----> Will I have to buy security software that slows down the phone?  (the Microsoft tax)

    Nope.  If you want security software on your phone, you should look at Android.  I don't even know if a legitimate security suite for WP exists - there's probably something in the marketplace, but it's more an idiot tax than a Microsoft tax.

    Will the phone still get compromised anyway? (the extreme Microsoft tax)

    Extremely doubtful.  A few months ago, there was a story in the news about slightly nefarious software that carriers were putting on smartphones to track users' habits, location, etc.  It was found on nearly all Android phones, as well as the iPhone.  It was not found on ANY Windows Phones.  Part of this is security through obscurity - our marketshare is too small to attract the attention of the big, bad hackers.

    As for needing prerequisites preinstalled before adding new apps, I've never encountered that.  The vetting for apps in the marketplace appears to be quite thorough, and everything I've installed (and I've installed at least the trial version of MANY apps) has simply worked.

    Despite my recent griping about specific problems, I still feel that WP offers an excellent user experience.  Particularly if you're coming from RIM, you'll love this!


  • Mantlo
    5 Posts

    Cute ads, but I'm still not sold, and with RIM earning the most clueless tech company award, I'm in the market.

    Here are some of my concerns, try to put them to rest:

    Looks fast now, but what about Windows Rot?  (it exists, stop denying it)

    Will I have constant critical security updates? (does anyone at MS test security?)

    Will I have to buy security software that slows down the phone?  (the Microsoft tax)

    Will the phone still get compromised anyway? (the extreme Microsoft tax)

    Will i have to deal with situations like when i downloaded Windows Mail for Windows 7 but was told I couldn't install it b/c an unknown prerequisite wasn't there? (wtf?  And this was on more than one pc.  MS products should just work with MS products, full stop)

    In short, how much Windows is there in a Windows phone?  I'm not a fanboy or an MS hater.  I'll use products from any company that's out there ( i even owned TWO Zunes), but while fixing and tweaking a pc might be fun, being stuck out in the world with a crippled phone just won't cut it.

  • @ DJ mike,

    I hate to also be sour, but the disappearing keyboard, and not having a fix, really put a bad taste in my mouth, and Im generally very positive no matter what.

    But, Im not ready to give up yet. But, I do understand you guys frustrations though...

  • @KR - Exactly what I'm feeling.

    @Rodney - I TOTALLY AGREE, as always.  The problem, which you also nailed: "but they just wont listen"

    2 years in, and nearly 7 months into 2012, and what - 2 or 3 months into "rolling thunder", and the CONSUMER still has no idea that WP even exists, or why they should care that it does.  This has been an epic advertising fail on MS AND Nokia...  Maybe because they knew that the real show would begin with WP8??  Then why tell us things like "The ad budget for the Lumia 900 is bigger than the iphone launch!"??


    I remember that launch.  You couldn't turn on the TV without seeing ads for it.  For that matter, you STILL can't.

    The pace of my job has picked up to a point where not being able to connect to my employer's MICROSOFT EXCHANGE SERVER from my MICROSOFT "SMART"PHONE is becoming a hindrance.

    I want to be able to use the other cross-platform communication tools that my co-workers are using, but they don't exist for WP.  Many of them have "equivalent" apps for us, but they're not "equal" - don't talk to each other...  so having an "equivalent" does me no good at all.

    I've been a WP cheerleader from the start.  Heck, at times, I've felt, and even appeared, like Rodney's right-hand man.  but the reality of the situation is starting to hit me harder and harder, and I know for a FACT that I've been participating in a beta test for the last 18 months.  

    This lab rat wants out of the maze.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    Its no more about just features in numbers is about how great and useful are those features.its always about waiting with WP

    Mango brought 500 features, well guess what, that was great compared to WP 7,but compared to what android and iOS and even BB had it was still way below standards. WP is sold at the same price as Android and blackberry and comparably iOS.

    WP boasts of speed and live tiles, well since I returned to android I haven't seen any significant speed difference on my htc one s,i haven't experienced any lag, as for the UI,i don't spend time looking at my phone so I don't even miss the WP UI, and as for live tiles I got widgets. When it comes to features and apps, oh boy I wonder how I even got things done in 2years with WP7-7.5.Though IE9 on WP is faster, the android browser displays web pages way better and isn't slow, its fast but IE9 is faster.

  • KR
    503 Posts


    Whatever it has to offer, WP8 is another beta test. Microsoft hasn't yet established a mobile platform and directions.i'll try a WPx after it is established(not the user base or the size of the community). WP8 will bring features but it might still not be up to standards, or after WP8 MS can do another generation change as they've just done with mango which brought 500 features but was still not up to standards.

    I am a consumer, and just as an investor I put my money in investments with certainty and with the best yields, and so far WP has failed in those two aspects reason why Ieft.

  • Anyways,,,LOL... Here is a picture of that bike Ive been working on....

    Speaking of apps, whatever happened to the idea of an official WPBlog app???

  • @ KR & DJMike

    Yeah, but we haven't fully seen what WP8 has to offer yet... There surely is going to be a lot more to offer than just the new start screen, and the other obvious features.

    As far as apps.. Mike, you know that they just aren't going to come fast enough, or WP8 isn't going to catch the apps up to the level of even Android.... I told these guys to advertise more on TV, but they just wont listen. Television advertising would eventually translate into more apps,, but whatever.. Personally, I'm tired of not having my banking app...

  • Anybody else getting Windows Live error messages on their phone???

  • @KR - Feeling very close to joining you lately...  Two years in the App Wasteland is enough to do it.  Yesterday I needed to find flight information for a trip I'd booked on Expedia, and thought, "Hey, Expedia STARTED as an MS project, so I bet there's an app for that..."


    WP8 looks awesome, but so did (does) WP7 / 7.5 / 7.8... I'm finding that just as in real life, looks aren't everything, and it's what lies under the surface that really matters.

  • KR
    503 Posts

    @Rodney didn't come with a disappearing keyboard.

    WP8 Sounds good,but good isn't good enough ;),I mean I will like to see how Microsoft transitions from WP8 to WP9 and I can't hold my breath on WP8,mango brought great features which was good,but still not enough to compete with the competition.i.e. Not up to standards.I don't wanna be a beta tester as I did with WP7.i decided to go for a mature already established platform.

    I didn't buy my one S on contract.i hate contracts,so I usually buy my phones off contract

  • T Windows
    116 Posts

    @ Rodney

    You bet dude for sure  - I hope we can use your guitar skills too.

    - Stay Powered by Windows

  • @ T windows.. What's up? Yes television. I will be in your commercial if you let me...

    @ KR... Does WP8 not sound good? Or, would you just have to wait until your contract is up,, around when a new version of WP is out?... Did your One S come with a disappearing keyboard? lol!

  • I was on the train to London Bridge, going to uni this morning. On the 3 seats in front of me and the two seats next to me, were people sitting with their iPhone4/4s discussing just how good it is! At uni in my lab there are about 20 people. Most of them own iPhones. Those that don't are being coverted to the them by a very hardcore apple fan.

    There I sat with my old android, wishing I had a Windows Phone so I could show them just how beatuiful and simpler and faster it is. I would make sure everyone knew about it. I guess I'll wait till next year till my contract runs out!

    Ben! Come to London and let my phone get smoked so I can have a WP too :D.

    Great work on the new WP8! Looks amazing and the whole integration with Windows 8 just makes me want it even more!


  • Maru
    1 Posts

    Hi, I've a Q: Why can not see de Xbox icon on my HTC Surround 7, Mango? Just see the Games icon. Sorry my english...

  • It's just absolutely amazing how many phones WP7 can smoke when the contest is rigged!  Astounding work!

  • Great ad! Now, please get Local Scout to work in Norway as well! :-)

  • KR
    503 Posts


    Dude I'm tired of being a beta tester and have given up on WP,its been a week I've been using a HTC one S and not to be rude but I'm more than satisfied of the phone and TBH it works better and faster for me for the stuffs i do the most.calling,browsing,emailing,banking banking and entertainment.

    Just thought i let you know since you always say i threaten to leave but never do.

    A friend told me in 2010 that i should only buy a Microsoft product after they've been through 2 generation iteration i thought he was being ridiculous.but I've learned the hard way.

    The next time I'll buy a Windows Phone is probably when WP9 or whatever it'll be called will be released

  • T Windows
    116 Posts


    What up dude!

    I still agree with you (TV) is where it’s at  –We need a Windows Phone 8 commercial similar to the Surface Tablet debut, dude that was too clean.

    That’s ok though I’m still saving for my Canon 5D –MarkIII ….just a few more months until I’m ready to release my own Un-official Windows commercials.

    @ david lorenzin excellent job on helping your friends & family transition from Beta Phones to official Smartphone’s.

    -Stay Powered by Windows

  • T Windows
    116 Posts


    Thanks for the continued success on the Smoked by a Windows Phone phenomenon; we really enjoy seeing these challenges around the world. Great job to you and the entire Windows Phone Team, we can hardly wait for 7.8 & the offical 8 :)

    -Stay Powered by Windows

  • Good job Ben! Keep finding us the cute ones...

  • Can you share the music from the add please?

  • Again, finding restaurants etc sucks when you are not in the US. Microsoft wake up! The world is larger than US only! Crippled experience in some European countries is a real bummer. Zune music also not available... Make this work everywhere asap!

  • Gurtej
    24 Posts

    Awesome. Much improved approach.

  • I convinced 10 friends of mine (growing) :) All super-happy with their WP !!

    My 62 years old mam call me via Tango and write me with whatsup, never been able to do that with iPhone nor android.

    Ben, don't forget Turbo Camera to smoke both 4S and SG3 as regards fast bust photo shooting, they push this feature hard on tv adv, but WP is simply faster ;)

  • Cool Advertisement. I am a WP developer and I can't convince more than 110 million users (where Nokia still holds the largest market) alone. This been said, I see a great room for Windows Phone market here in Pakistan if properly advertised.

  • I'm convinced!  Oh, wait, I already have a WP7 phone.  Seriously, though, great ad!  I hope I start seeing this ad in the same places I would see Android or iPhone ads.


  • Lets make WindowsPhone 8 a publicly Televised platform. I know that TV is the worst place to advertise, but let's dare to be different for WP8. How bout it guys?

  • arrow22
    50 Posts

    Social integration in WP7 is great, but I wonder why there haven't been any ads which really highlight the modern UI design of the phone. It's clean, modern and unlike any competitors. With Windows 8 nearing launch, it feels like the perfect time to showcase this design language across the phone, the PC and Xbox.

    It's what won me over anyway.