NEW YORK A year after priming consumers with ads featuring people proudly identifying themselves with "I'm a PC," Microsoft today launches its new operating system Windows 7 with a multi-faceted global campaign via Crispin Porter + Bogusky.
The push credits Windows' 1 billion users for the OS' creation.
The "My idea" campaign kicks off with a 30-second commercial that focuses on the "Collaboration," as the introductory ad is called, between the company and its consumers. In similar style to the "I'm a PC" salvo, the commercial presents a quick-cut montage of people from around the world sharing what they want from their computers as Microsoft engineers responded with the line, "I'm listening." The users take ownership of the new system, claiming the OS as "my idea." The spot ends with two engineers bowing in gratitude and the line "A billion ideas=7."
Subsequent ads highlight specific features, such as the operating system's Snap function, with consumers cheekily taking credit for coming up with the innovations. "I'm a PC and Windows 7 was my idea," they say.
The campaign will run in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., France, Germany and Australia and includes 26 commercials localized for each market.
"Windows is a brand of the people...a brand of a billion consumers around the world," said Gayle Troberman, general manager for advertising and consumer engagement at Microsoft, who explained the campaign builds on the branding efforts of the past year. "'I'm a PC was the beginning of us telling our story through their eyes."
More than 8 million people participated in beta testing, Microsoft said, and the advertising was crafted to reflect that consumer input.
The new operating system "is the result of an incredibly rigorous process of listening and learning and testing," said Troberman. "Consumers told us what they wanted from Windows 7, and we really believe listening to those customers has resulted in a product that delivers on their needs."
In addition to commercials running on TV and online, the effort includes outdoor and digital banners as well as 7-second Web videos that demonstrate the product's ease of use.
Microsoft will also invite consumers to submit their own 7-second product demos through crowd-sourcing sites such as AdHack and TurnHere. Selected clips will post online next month.
The campaign also extends beyond advertising to include brand integration with TV networks such as Fox, including a 30-minute variety special next month produced by "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane, and segments on football programming such as seven-word game recaps.
"It's a great way to showcase the features of the product," said Troberman, who said that the brand integration includes a broad range of programming, from sports to comedy and dramas. "We think seeing is believing," she added. "It's an important part of telling our story."See also:"Microsoft Targets BlackBerry, iPhone Crowds""Does Microsoft Have Digital Ad Biz's Holy Grail?""A Winner Out of the Gates"