Encouraging Australians to “look up and smile”. In January 2007, Australia was at the forefront of a global launch to consumers of Microsoft's flagship new products – Windows® Vista ™ and the 2007 Microsoft Office™ system. After an 18-month delay in coming into market, the combined launch was the biggest product release from Microsoft in more than a decade. It was imperative that the tone of the media coverage reflected the significance of the new technology and more importantly encouraged both business and personal customers to purchase. Would the company’s proposed global launch effectively translate in Australia? Extensive demographic and psychographic research was conducted, revealing significant differences from the typical US consumer. Australians placed higher value on family and relationships, and less on keeping up with new technology. This insight helped PR fine-tune its programs to ensure that the right aspects of the products were communicated to the Australian market. Leveraging Australia Day celebrations to showcase Windows Vista, Look Up and Smile on Australia Day was born. Organized through the National Australia Day Council and Microsoft Australia, the event revolved around the creation of three enormous artworks across Australia, which were photographed using aerial photography. Australians were encouraged to look up and smile and be photographed and then go to www.lookupandsmile.com.au to view their picture. The second phase was staging a midnight sales event, Midnight Mayhem, with Australia’s legendary retailer, Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman. On the stroke of midnight, January 29, the first copy of Windows Vista signed by Bill Gates, was sold by Mr. Harvey to one of 200 customers who attended the event. A consumer launch followed the next day. At a major launch event at Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, the company announced and demonstrated new content partnerships designed to make digital music and photo management easier. More than 120 media attended the event, which generated national coverage in print, radio and broadcast. Prior to the consumer rollout, Howorth also distributed advance product and strategy briefings to key editors and market influencers and organized a business launch of the Vista that emphasized the business value of the product. Held in late November 2006, more than 55 media attended. Fifteen months after Microsoft Vista’s 1st phase of market conditioning, stories continued to generate in the press. The business and consumer launch generated 82 top stories, exceeding the target of 62 by more than 30 percent. All of these were positive with the majority focusing on the business and lifestyle possibilities of Vista. Total reach was 51.4 million, meaning that every Australian was exposed to the Windows Vista launch at least 2.5 times during that two-day news cycle.