The latest installment in the Hobbit saga, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, is just around the corner and the cogs of the marketing machine are rolling into motion. Starting today, in conjunction with Warner Bros UK, Microsoft is introducing Windows 8 In-App-Ads for the movie -- MSN and Xbox will be added to the campaign to tie in with the UK release on 13 December.
But this is more than just an advertisement for a movie -- there's a souvenir for Hobbit fans to take away. Support for 3D printing is already available in Windows 8.1 and the advert includes a link to download a 3D blueprint for "The Key to Erebor" from the tale.
This is an extremely interesting use of advertising to not only highlight a feature of Windows, but also to give the movie a push. Danni Murray, Director of Media and Marketing Partnerships, Warner Bros UK & Ireland said:
"We're incredibly excited about this integrated partnership opportunity. We asked Microsoft to come up with a solution that challenged the previous conventions around what was possible with its display offering and we're confident this interactive campaign will excite and engage fans as they journey into the second film in the Trilogy."
Check out a preview of the ad below, and watch out for the in-app version -- particularly if you have invested in a 3D printer: