The more we thought about what type of messaging might resonate with the target audience, the more we realized that Internet Explorer was the first gateway to the Internet for the millennial generation. Being millennials ourselves, we began to reminisce about our early web experiences—and how far we’ve come since those dial-up days. This gave us the idea for a nostalgia-driven narrative anchored around the tagline, “You grew up, so did we.” By harkening back to an era of Tamagotchis and Super Soakers, we could tell a simple story to remind the millennial viewer that Internet Explorer was there then and is ready to reconnect with them now.
With the concept approved by the Microsoft team, we took the idea from script to production, tracking down every touchstone of a ‘90s childhood and traveling to Montreal to collaborate with the talented production company L’Eloi. For art direction, we focused on the classic ‘90s palette, creating a candy-colored world featuring all our favorite childhood costars (Lisa Frank, Pogs, Trolls, and more). And to create the right tone musically, we collaborated with our friends at Marmoset Music for a custom composition to support the VO and visual narrative.
The final product was a #tbt visual feast, allowing millennials to time-travel with Internet Explorer over the course of two minutes. Little did we know it would be an instant viral hit.