Apple is not the Only one that Can be Creative says Microsoft

Microsoft has an image problem in Japan. Research shows that when choosing an OS or device, Japanese consumers prefer brands with an innovative or stylish image.

In other words – Apple.

This posed a challenge for Microsoft, whose Windows brand was primarily associated by Japanese consumers with functional, corporate use — effective but not necessarily inspiring innovation or creativity.


Mac, on the other hand, is viewed as the go to product for creative expressions.

Microsoft needed this perception to change so they hired Wunderman International Japan who joined forces with teamLab, a digital artist group, to use Windows products in the creation of a signature, mind-bending piece of art called “Flowers & People.”

The goal of the project was to highlight “Microsoft’s ability to enable unique, extraordinary creativity.” While it sounds a bit like the insecure kid in class yelling, “Hey! Look at me, I can do that, too,” it is an impressive piece of work.

Check it out.


Projected across 147,000 square meters of screen, audiences were surrounded by a year’s bloom cycle of flowers native to Japan’s Kunisaki Peninsula, where the piece debuted.

As visitors approached the screens, the flowers react to the viewer’s movements, withering and blooming in turn. All of the necessary processing, graphics generation and sensors for the entire installation were controlled by only nine devices that were running the Windows OS, including the Surface Pro 3.

“Microsoft’s data processing power was integral to the installation,” said Kei Yashiro, associate creative director, Wunderman International Japan. “Sensors and simultaneous processing were required for a visceral, intimate experience and interaction between the art and visitors. Without data, it would have simply been a prerecorded projection mapping or visual display.”

The installation was part of the Kunisaki Art Festival, held by Oita Prefecture and the Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan.

The “Flowers and People” campaign’s tagline is “Break the existing Coolness,” which calls for users to demolish their preconceived notions of what’s cool and question the way they choose brands.

The installation by teamLab attracted 60,000 people to Kunisaki in just two months. It was such a success that it is now a permanent exhibit. It has since toured Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and New York, bringing to life billions of flowers to date. In Tokyo alone, more than 300,000 people have attended thus far.

Has, or will this alter Japanese perceptions of Windows as a product for creativity? The jury is still out –but gee, those flowers sure are pretty.

Ad Credits –
Creative Director: Kei Yashiro
Art Director: Elina Shima
Senior Copywriter: Anne Rihi
Senior Account Executive: Fuyuko Oshiro

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