Evans to link Microsoft creative

Microsoft Corp. has tapped a creative director from a small East Coast agency to be responsible for evaluating a new corporate identity for the software giant, which could impact the company’s marketing and advertising programs.
Ben Evans, executive creative director at Wills and Evans and a former Chiat/Day executive, will leave his $50-million shop June 18 to become cd at the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant. Evans will oversee all of Microsoft’s creative material, including advertising, direct-response, point-of-sale, packaging and product literature, and act as a liaison between the software company and its agency-of-record Ogilvy & Mather/L.A.
Evans replaces Ken Orvidas, who left Microsoft three weeks ago. But with rapid growth, the post of corporate creative director has been expanded “to include more strategic thinking and positioning for the products and the company.”
For example, Evans first order of business will be to “identify a positioning for the long term and then work with Ogilvy to convey that.”
“We’ve always had relatively strong creative, but it’s never been linked together . . . we need to be more consistent,” said a Microsoft spokesman.
The current corporate identity program may change somewhat under Evans’ lead. “Microsoft executives clearly are innovators and are passionate about what they do and that needs to be communicated more,” he said.
However, Evans stressed that it was “way too premature’ to speculate that Microsoft would want a new agency to handle the new challenges. Despite rumors earlier this year that O&M was in trouble on the $22-million account, Microsoft is “very pleased” with O&M, Evans said.
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