How clever: A hotspot in a magazine
Microsoft offers Forbes readers free wifi in an insert
May 3, 2013
These days free wifi shows up in the darnedest places.
At libraries. At amusement parks. On airplanes.
And now, in perhaps the most unexpected place of all: In a magazine.
In this week’s issue of Forbes magazine, Microsoft is promoting its new Office 365 software by including a small wireless wifi router.
The router is contained in a four-page insert that ran in a small number of magazines sent to business and technology professionals targeted by Microsoft.
The router is housed in a very thin cardboard box that’s part of the insert.
The router can connect up to five devices to the internet. It lasts for two to three hours, depending on how many devices have been connected, before it has to be recharged. It comes with 15 days of free service courtesy of T-Mobile.
The idea behind the promotion is to emphasize how handy it is to have constant access to information, which is what Microsoft offers with Office’s cloud service.
The stunt works because it’s a unique way to draw attention to the product, as well as the magazine itself.
There’s been lots of buzz about the promotion online, a rarity for a magazine advertisement of any type. Engagenet, Mashable, Consumerist and dozens of other sites have written about the free Forbes router.
It’s believed to be the first time that a magazine has delivered free wifi, though it’s hardly the first high-tech offer in a magazine.
Last year, for example, Entertainment Weekly ran an ad for the CW that included a tiny smartphone that played clips of the network’s new shows and delivered a live Twitter feed.
And in 2009 EW included a small TV screen in an ad for CBS that also played clips of its shows.
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