Microsoft: a broader appeal

Microsoft Canada switches its target from business to consumer in a campaign that marks its television debut.Sandra Palmaro, advertising and public relations manager for the software company, says it was time to move to a broader medium because the company's user...

Microsoft Canada switches its target from business to consumer in a campaign that marks its television debut.

Sandra Palmaro, advertising and public relations manager for the software company, says it was time to move to a broader medium because the company’s user base has expanded.

Microsoft previously advertised in business publications.

Palmaro says the two streams of the home market, small office and entertainment/education are growing quickly and Microsoft is spending nearly $2 million to address that target with this campaign.

The first 30-second spot, ‘Ideas,’ is an image ad that Palmaro says makes a statement about Microsoft as an enabler, a company with products that helps users do what they want to do – better.

Jay Bertram, co-managing director at Microsoft’s agency Chiat/ Day, says the advertising focusses on what the customer can accomplish with a computer because ‘it’s the user who makes things happen, and Microsoft’s role is to contribute the right tools.’

The spot opens with an overhead shot of a busy downtown intersection, with the camera then moving towards crowds and individuals.

The visual is accompanied by a voiceover that is a litany of what the crowd could be thinking about.

‘Somewhere, someone’s thinking about a cure for cancer, a cure for politicians, a vaccine for baldness, a personality scanning device, a nifty little thing that’ll keep your shirt tucked in,’ the voiceover says.

The camera hones in on one young man and the announcer asks, ‘Got any ideas?’

As a look of enlightenment comes to the man’s face, the announcer continues with, ‘Whatever you’d like to do, we’d like to help make it happen.’

It ends with the Microsoft logo and the super, ‘The people who brought you Windows.’

The campaign started Nov. 17 and runs through to March in French in Montreal and the English version airing in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary.

The launch in the Vancouver market is slated for January.

The second spot launches the end of December. It is more product-oriented but still focusses on user results.

Creative credits for ‘Ideas’ go to the Chiat/Day team, Duncan Milner and Phillipe Garneau; director Marco Brambilla, the Canadian who directed the recently released movie Demolition Man starring Sylvester Stallone; and producer Peter Grech of Otherworld Films, Toronto.

Nintendo gets the Stanley Cup

nintendo of Canada premiered ‘The Ultimate Face-Off’ earlier this month, a 30-second commercial in English and French for NHL Stanley Cup Hockey, a licensed sports game for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

The game gives its players an over-the-shoulder perspective, a feeling of actually playing on the ice.

The commercial illustrates this with a boy and his dream of playing in the big league.

The scene is tense as he suits up to the voiceover, ‘It’s more than a game. It’s a dream. And it’s about to be realized in the best game of hockey he’s ever played.’

The spot runs nationally through the third week of December.

The commercial comes from Leo Burnett, Toronto with credits to Martin Shewchuk, creative director; Kate Felstiner, writer; George Longley, art director; and Radke Films, production house.

The integrated campaign also involves an eight-stop mall tour put together by Christopher Lang & Associates of Toronto.