Microsoft Promotes Windows 7 Through Music-Themed Section 7 Facebook Page

Microsoft has taken its Section 7 concert program to Facebook, recently launching a music-themed Page ultimately intended to get more users paying attention to the company’s Windows 7 computer operating system.

The larger Section 7 campaign, launched late last year, is a partnership with leading concert ticket vendor Live Nation. It’s basically designed to give music fans discounts on tickets (hence the name), merchandise, other daily music deals, and the possibility of winning sweepstakes prizes.

The Facebook effort is a newer component of the campaign, based around a new Page-focused application called The Challenge, developed by Santa Monica, Calif.-based Focused Labs.

Companies have been using music promotions to make their products more attractive to consumers on Facebook for years. But we’ve seen several new efforts lately aimed at incorporating live music with marketing efforts on the service — one of the few places that Facebook has generally lagged behind social network rival MySpace. One example was the Levi’s Fader Fort at the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, last month. The mini-venue streamed days worth of live acts on Facebook, heavy Levi’s branding included. Another example is Odwalla: the juice company announced last month that it’s providing a combination contest- and music-themed Page designed around mini-stages it plans to have at music festivals this coming year, starting with Coachella in southern California later this month.

The Challenge app, built from scratch for the Section 7 campaign, debuted earlier this week with a “Rockstar” theme. It lets users do things like take quizzes about rock and roll history, competing against Facebook friends to try to get the highest scores and win prizes. But the app is customizable, so the Section 7 team can update it as needed for different promotions. Every week Section 7 will provide a different challenge and prize on Facebook, chief executive James Borow explains. The app will switch from the “Rockstar Challenge” theme to a Country Music Challenge or Rap Challenge theme, for example, without Focused Labs’ assistance.

The company plans to offer similar, customizable apps to other brands so they can manage campaign changes on their own. Focused Labs also provides other Page services, and he adds that it helped Section 7 grow its Page from 1,000 fans six weeks ago to the 212,000 audience it has today.

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