PC pulling power will be focus of US$300m marketing campaign

8 Sep 2008

Microsoft Shoe Circus video

The indispensible nature of Microsoft’s Windows operating system in the lives of more than one billion people worldwide is the subject of a US$300m advertising campaign by the Seattle giant, featuring the comedian, Jerry Seinfeld.

The ad campaign, which features an exchange between Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Seinfeld in a shoe store talking about the relationship between software and shoes – the answer is ‘nothing’ – is really all about Microsoft trying to reconnect with consumers.

The campaign will illustrate how Windows integrates consumer experiences across PCs, online and on mobile phones via Vista, Live and Mobile.

Also as part of the campaign, major electronics retailers like Best Buy will roll out Windows-branded sales environments.

The Windows.com website has been revamped to point consumers to specific Windows products, while manufacturers like HP, Dell, Sony and Lenovo will make better use of new technology features like instant wake-up to make more compelling PCs.

“Windows is entering a new chapter in our history,” said Bill Veghte, senior vice-president, Online Services and Windows Business Group. “We’re renewing our commitment to consumers and working with our partners to deliver quality and value on the PC, across devices and across the web.”

According to Brad Brooks, corporate vice-president for Windows Consumer Product Marketing, the effort stems largely from the fact that Microsoft’s brand and products, and the way people use technology in general, are vastly different now than they were even a decade ago.

“When you think of more than a billion people using Windows across the globe, each person with a unique set of circumstances, and then factor in three Windows platforms and what they can do, it’s hard to even comprehend the number of unique scenarios Windows can potentially address,” said Brooks.

“So how can Microsoft support this ecosystem? How can we help people understand the potential they have to be creative and productive with the platform?”

According to Brooks, Microsoft’s historic relationship with consumers has become insufficient in this new world, a situation that has led the company to fundamentally rebuild the customer experience.

“Today, customers see inconsistent buying scenarios, and often end up with PCs or devices that aren’t ideally suited to what they want from Windows,” he said. “And the company hasn’t always provided enough information for people to understand the functionality they need, and how to get there. We need to help our customers keep pace.”

By John Kennedy

Pictured: Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld in a scene from the video to accompany Microsoft’s US$300m advertising campaign

Microsoft Shoe Circus video

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years