Microsoft Touts Office Online

LOS ANGELES An extensive interactive campaign for Microsoft’s Office 2007 software launched yesterday through Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson.

“The campaign cuts across traditional media channels,” said Rob Bagot, evp and ecd at McCann’s San Francisco office. “But we determined that telling them about this is not enough. We wanted to create an experiential campaign.”

Bagot said that some of the ads sprinkled through some 100 sites include “rich banners” that allow the viewer to the try out one or more of the features—change type, manipulate graphics, view live previews and thumbnails—within the ad space itself. Clicking on other banner ads takes viewers directly to more elaborate demos on the Microsoft site, Bagot said.

The campaign came out of three to six months of research on customer engagement issues and learning the software itself, Bagot said. The work, which includes print and outdoor, runs through the fall. Various Internet sites were chosen to specifically target what Bagot called “pain points. . . . We’re looking at daily challenges that people face, such as, for example, the challenge of collaboration and document preparation.”

Five two-minute humorous vignettes with embedded messages about product features run on Narrated by a voiceover with a British accent, one fairy tale-like story is about Carlisle, a banker, who makes a mad dash for elusive Fiscal Year 2002 numbers for a client, only to trip on a carpet fiber and fail. In another, two men work next to each other for decades at a fabrication facility but never meet because of a wood and glass divider. “It’s a new day. It’s a new office” is the tagline.

The agency would not disclose spending on the campaign. Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft spent $450 million on advertising in 2006, including $85 million touting its Office product, per TNS Media Intelligence.