School of Thought


She drew more traffic than organically. Meet Ms. Dewey.

Before Bing (and before Siri), Microsoft Search was struggling. And traditional campaigns weren’t working.

Microsoft loosened the reins: Anything goes. Just make it engaging, they said, and weave in search.

Six months—and a few hundred ideas later—Ms. Dewey was born. A brilliant, sassy, virtual librarian, backed by 600 video clips and advanced artificial intelligence. She knew everything, delivering relevant, outrageous content on the fly.

This was entirely a social content play. Not a penny was spent on ads or search. Daily traffic to the site soon outpaced, the Campaign for Real Beauty, and then Yahoo and Google.

IT directors were begging employees to “quit” her, as demand bogged down company T1 lines. Ultimately, thousands of blogs and press stories were generated, and Microsoft Search got its “second act”.

Case Study (short)

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