Microsoft’s Zune Just Wants to Socialize

LOS ANGELES Microsoft is expected to spend $100 million-plus and fashion more than 20 spots for its Zune MP3 player, trading on the device’s social-networking technology such as wireless file sharing and legal free downloads.

One commercial titled “Rock Social” shows fans en route to an outdoor concert; a young man and woman on a bus exchange music tracks, as do myriad others waiting in the concert space. The sharing theme is driven home by the onscreen promise that with Zune, “Your playlist is my playlist.”

The goal, of course, is to grab market share from the entrenched category leader, Apple Computer’s iPod, which holds about 75 percent of the $4 billion domestic digital music market.

Independent agency 72andSunny employs the tagline “Welcome to the social” in commercials crafted by agency creative directors John Boiler and Glenn Cole. Spots cover various musical genres.

“Music the way it wants to be” is a major theme of all campaign components. Zune began shipping this week.

72andSunny, the El Segundo, Calif., boutique that also handled global brand strategy for the Zune rollout, had partnered with Microsoft lead agency McCann Erickson in San Francisco on the original Xbox 360 launch.

The “silhouette” campaigns for the iPod, from Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., have produced some of the most recognizable advertising images of the decade.

Apple sold 8.7 million iPods during its most recent quarter, a 35 percent increase over the previous year, the company said. Apple said it sold 39 million iPods for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30.