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Microsoft starts new advertising campaign with Seinfeld (with videos)

Posted on 6-Sep-2008 10:05 | Filed under: News

Microsoft Corp. launched the largest consumer marketing campaign in the history of the company, focused on the broad potential of Windows across PCs, the Web and mobile devices.

"This is the Conquistador,� explains Jerry Seinfeld, showing a befuddled Bill Gates a brown loafer. �They run very tight.�

After seeing the new ad from Microsoft, which debuted today, some may wonder what Jerry Seinfeld helping Bill Gates pick out a new pair of shoes has to do with software. The answer, in the classic Seinfeld sense of the word, is nothing.

Nevertheless, the spot is the first and most visible sign of an ambitious effort by Microsoft�s Windows business to reconnect with consumers around the globe.

The new campaign will highlight how Windows has become an indispensible part of the lives of a billion people around the globe - not only on PCs but also now online and via mobile devices. It will illustrate how Windows integrates consumer experiences across PCs, online and on mobile phones through Windows Vista, Windows Live and Windows Mobile.

Microsoft is working with retail partners and PC manufacturers to enhance the experience consumers have with Windows at every touch-point. Major retailers, such as Circuit City and Best Buy, will begin rolling out Windows-branded sales environments and store-within-a-store concepts.

The website has also been revamped and will point consumer to specific Windows products and experiences.

These initial ads are the first in a creative campaign by the award-winning advertising agency Crispin, Porter + Bogusky. According to the company these are designed to spark a conversation about the Windows brand, evolving as the campaign progresses, but will always be marked by humor and humanity.

�Windows is entering a new chapter in our history,� says Bill Veghte, Senior Vice President, Online Services & 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.�

This effort extends to close collaboration with device manufacturers in optimizing performance, a renewed retail sales philosophy designed to help people understand their technology needs, and a new Web presence that serves people the same way in-store sales staff would.

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.

The Windows platform - including Windows Vista, Windows Mobile and Windows Live - were built to work together to connect the Windows experience beyond the PC to the phone and on the Web.

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 says. �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.�

This past July, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hinted that changes were in the wind, saying the company would launch a series of initiatives to make Windows more meaningful and relevant. Now Ballmer is looking to Microsoft veteran Veghte and his team to lead the Windows business through the transformation.

A primary focus of the initiatives is to work with PC and device manufacturers to create hardware better-suited to deliver the kinds of experiences with Windows that customers want. To that end, Veghte and the team are driving changes in the engineering behind Windows PCs, and working closely with manufacturers to improve and enhance hardware performance in key areas that customers care about, such as computer start-up and shut-down speed, and overall security and reliability.

According to Veghte, in the coming weeks and months, consumers will begin to see a wave of PCs that benefit from these changes, with many becoming available later this fall.