$1bn global blitz starts for Microsoft

The biggest ever marketing campaign rolls out tomorrow (Thursday) with the launch of Micro- soft’s Windows upgrade, Win95. The $1bn (625m) offensive employs lifestyle advertisements featuring children and businessmen using the product.

The global ads, created by Wieden & Kennedy, are intended to be “upbeat and aspirational”. There will be no voiceover, instead, “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones will be used.

The ads will show people using computers in different situations, including families at home, and business people using machines to work away from the office.

All advertising will retain Microsoft’s catchline “Where do you want to go today” and will also use the “Start” button symbol shown on the screen when Win95 is first switched on.

The elaborate launch is intended to reposition the firm as an entertainment and a consumer specialist.

Two weeks after the launch, product-based ads targeted at Microsoft’s existing users will break and play on the four colours of the Microsoft logo.

In the UK, ten-second direct response ads created by EURO RSCG Wnek Gosper will feature a freephone number for orders. A national press execution and a humorous poster campaign for both Win95 and the accompanying software package Office95 will also run for two weeks.

In early September a direct mailshot designed by Evans Hunt Scott will be sent to 800,000 people.

Microsoft’s thousands of dealers and retailers will also run their own campaigns. Microsoft is running a Times giveaway on Thursday.

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