Madonna to Help Anchor Microsoft XP Effort

Microsoft will anchor its estimated $200 million campaign for Windows XP with the tag “Yes you can,” and the Madonna song “Ray of Light.” The company is attempting to go against the grain with upbeat, optimistic creative.

The effort breaks next week.

The campaign, via McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco and New York, aims to illustrate the plug and play features of Windows XP, available at retail stores on Oct. 25. Print creative shows everyday situations like the sending of digital photos via e-mail against a blue sky and green grass, which is the default screen background for XP.

“People want to be able to do what they want when they want and how they want,” said Stephanie Ferguson, director-PC experience solutions for Microsoft. TV spots will show fast-paced, energetic vignettes of people using applications interspersed with shots of the same people flying against the sky background as the Madonna song plays.

Michael McClaren, evp/director-client services for McCann, said the company had considered another tag that referred to flying, but it was scuttled after Sept. 11. “We’ve applied a sensitive eye across the board,” he said. Ferguson said that the company is also sticking with its original spend. “We are not cutting back on marketing,” she said.

Microsoft has set an XP launch in New York City. Ferguson declined to comment on whether Madonna would attend.