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Microsoft’s New Creative Director To Help Link Ads and Identity By Alison Fahey and Kathy Tyre

REDMOND, WASH. – Microsoft Corp. has named a new creative director to help the company link its advertising with its o

Benjamin Evans, a partner in $50-million advertising agency Wills and Evans/New York, will leave his company June 18 to join Microsoft.
Evans replaces Ken Orvidas, who left the software company three weeks ago.
The role of creative director, which falls under the corporate communications banner, is to ‘oversee all creative material that Microsoft creates . . . advertising, direct-response, point-of-sale, packaging and product literature,’ Evans said.
As part of that role, Evans will act as a liaison between the software company and its agency-of-record Ogilvy & Mather/L.A.
‘Microsoft is growing so quickly that the role of creative director is expanding to include more strategic thinking and positioning for the products and the company,’ Evans said.
Part of Evans’ mission is to ‘create an overall corporate identity for the company,’ which will then, in part, be executed in advertising by Ogilvy & Mather.
Over the last year, Microsoft has developed a new corporate identity program that has resulted in a change in the graphic look of Microsoft’s advertising campaign.
‘I doubt he’ll come in and make wholesale changes, but we want him to have a chance to evaluate the program before it goes worldwide,’ said Mike Delman, Microsoft director of corporate communications. ‘We’ve always had relatively strong creative, but it’s never been linked together. We had an audit of our creative a year ago, and decided to standardize our corporate identity. As we grow larger, we need to be more consistent about how we communicate and how people perceive Microsoft.’
‘Ben brings a good strategic background, beyond the typical creative person. He has a feel for positioning and marketing strategy, and it’s rare to find that in a creative.’
The current corporate identity program may change somewhat under Evans’ lead.
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