McCann Breaks $150 Mil. Microsoft Campaign

LOS ANGELES Microsoft Corp. today debuted a campaign introducing the latest version of its Microsoft Office, the company said.

The effort, from McCann-Erickson in San Francisco, includes TV, print and online ads for the new Microsoft Office System themed “Great Moments at Work.” The Redmond, Wash.-based company said it expects to spend approximately $150 million on the global campaign over the next six months. The campaign launched today in the U.S. and will begin appearing in other parts of the world early next year.

“We’re taking the Office brand, which used to be associated with a box of software, and making it much broader,” said Microsoft director of marketing communications Will Golding. Today’s launch included six suites, 11 products, four servers and one service. And while Microsoft has historically focused on telling companies what they can do with Microsoft Office on an infrastructure level, it now wants end users to “consider what they could do or achieve with Microsoft Office,” he said.

Ads retain “Your potential. Our passion” as a tagline, which is used for all Microsoft products. The work uses “over-the-top analogies borrowed from the sports world” to represent achievement in the workplace, Golding said.

The campaign broke with a four-page spread in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today that shows images such as desks on a baseball diamond and a conference room table on a basketball court, accompanied by the line, “Now great moments don’t just happen on a playing field, they can happen everywhere.” Five additional print ads show scenes such as a woman who is reminiscent of a gold medalist as she holds flowers and stands on a platform made of boxes, and a man, who behaves much like a Wimbledon champion as he stands at a conference table kissing a salad bowl. Those executions will run in national dailies and business publications, as well as in some sports and lifestyle titles.

The effort also includes four 30-second TV spots, which will begin airing on Oct. 27. One spot shows an information worker who is obviously pleased with an accomplishment. His co-workers dump a water cooler over his head, much in the way football coaches of winning teams are doused at the end of a game. Another ad depicts corporate staffers that have completed a presentation. Like an NCAA basketball team that cuts down the net after a victory, they take turns using scissors to cut down the projection screen.

TV spots are running during prime-time, late-night and sports programs on broadcast and cable.

In addition to the end-user campaign, Microsoft is also running a more straightforward campaign targeting IT decision-makers, Golding said.