Microsoft Bounces FCB TV Campaign

A TV campaign from FCB Worldwide for the $50 million launch of Microsoft’s Ultimate TV was scrapped and replaced with spots from Rodgers Townsend in St. Louis, the company said.

Although its TV work got bounced, FCB San Francisco remains lead agency for the Mountain View, Calif., based division of Microsoft, said Beth Kachellek, director of advertising and brand management for Ultimate TV. FCB continues to handle print and media planning. Microsoft agency McCann Erickson is the division’s media buyer.

The product, a digital video recroding service that is expected to compete with brands like TiVo, was set to launch with TV from FCB over the holidays, but Microsoft was unable to get it to market. Rodgers Townsend, a $60 million shop, was familiar to Ultimate TV executives Kachellek and Bill Morgan, who formerly worked at agency client SBC Communications. The shop was doing some branding work for the company and pitched an idea for TV, which was ultimately favored over the FCB work, Kachellek said. The spots, which break Thursday “incorporate the product demo with a real-life situation,” she said. “What we found is it’s not just what the product does, it’s how it does it.”

Agency officials referred calls to the client.