Levelling up awareness and reach with Promoted Pins

Looking to increase awareness and reach for Xbox, Microsoft Canada surpassed benchmark engagement rates and return on advertising spend expectations on Pinterest.  

11 million
impressions to retail partners' website
lift in engagement rate
Their goal

Engaging a new audience

Microsoft entered the video game console market in 2001 with Xbox. Nearly two decades later, the brand has expanded to include a family of Xbox consoles (including the world's most powerful console—Xbox One X), a service that gives unlimited access to over 100 games to download and play on Xbox consoles (Xbox Game Pass), an online subscription (Xbox Live Gold) and a roster of talented first-party development studios.

They decided to run a Pinterest campaign to grow awareness for the Xbox One console, Xbox games and Xbox accessories. Plus, they wanted to drive traffic to their retail partners’ websites and reach an engaged audience in Canada.

Rebecca Shaw, Digital Marketing Lead
“I am consistently searching for innovative tactics to successfully resonate with our target audiences. Pinterest allowed us to reach new customers effectively and authentically, as we were able to fall naturally into users’ curation within the Pinterest ecosystem. We are thrilled with the results as they helped us achieve our business goals. In addition, we are very proud to be the first advertiser on Pinterest in Canada.”
Their solution

Customising targeting for optimised reach

The Microsoft team launched a series of Promoted Pins on Black Friday, with the campaign running until Boxing Week. The ads showcased Pins that featured a mix of Xbox features along with images of people playing their hearts out. The Pins also contained clear calls to action informing people of various seasonal sales, such as 'Cyber Monday Deals'.

Microsoft used keyword and interest targeting to get their ads in front of their intended audience – people who were searching for either Xbox products or gifts. Phrases like 'Video game genre' and 'Toys', as well as phrases relating to specific seasonal sales events such as 'Cyber Monday images', were just some of the terms that the team included.

Their results

Power boosting return on ad spend and engagement

Microsoft’s Pinterest campaign for the Xbox surpassed expectations. They saw 11 million impressions to their retail partners’ websites, which resulted in a near 5% engagement rate.1 Products that they featured in the campaign saw significant lifts in engagement and sales during the live campaign.

Advertiser tips
  • Include clear calls to action within the Pin so that your target audience knows exactly what to do.
  • Don't be afraid to expand your keyword phrases based on internal research and/or data (if available) – experimentation and broadening your keyword phrases can help optimise your targeting.


1Microsoft data, 2018