Microsoft Gets ‘Something’ Started

SAN FRANCISCO Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson today launches an ambitious 15-month, $100 million integrated consumer campaign for Microsoft Windows XP, with a tagline of “Start something.”

This is one of the largest and longest marketing campaigns in Windows brand history, according to Microsoft executives. It will run in 11 countries, and more than 50 TV executions have been produced, including those customized for international markets.

The “Start something” campaign encourages people to use Windows programs to pursue their passions, whether those are music, movies, cooking or the cosmos. The ads will show a window over people’s hearts, to demonstrate this point.

In one print execution called “Curious,” a schoolboy stands against a chair, with a stream of drawings emerging from the window over his heart, out in front of him, such as astronauts, birds, animals and books. “Start something curious,” the copy reads. “Start discovering lost cities. Learning new languages. Mastering equations. Making scale models. Amazing your teachers. Start feeding your brain.”

All advertisements will direct consumers to, a Web site that highlights partnerships and software applications for each of the featured passions reflected in the advertising.

There are eight U.S. versions of the ads, and the media buy includes popular shows like CSI, 24, Alias and American Idol, according to the client.

2005 marks the third decade of the Windows program, Microsoft executives said. The software went on the market in 1985 and was followed by upgrades of Windows 95, 98 and XP.