Microsoft unveils global Windows 8 campaign

Microsoft has unveiled a music-focused global ad campaign to support the launch of the Windows 8 operating system as it looks to capture the “open and inclusive spirit” of the new brand.

The technology company is reported to be investing more than $1.5bn (£939m) in marketing for the launch, which it says will “break from the past” and be more “motivating”, “emotional” and “culturally relevant” than its previous campaigns.

It moves away from Microsoft’s famous “I’m a PC” marketing strategy for its Windows 7 operating system, which focused on product benefits.

The bulk of the campaign will highlight a number of up and coming indie bands across the world, including Best Coast from the US, Lenka from China and Hogarth in Brazil. Microsoft chose to include new bands to imply “a journey of discovery”.

Activity will include TV, print, online, outdoor and sponsorships of entertainment events, such as the MTV European Music Awards.

Windows 8 will also feature in the largest ever takeover of New York Times Square’s digital advertising boards, as well as hands-on installations in the city to demonstrate the new technology.

The Western elements of the campaign were created by US agency Crispin, Porter and Bogusky, while JWT Brazil and China created other local elements.

Rob Reilly, partner and worldwide chief creative officer of Crispin, Porter and Bogusky says the campaign is deliberately focused around the experiences Windows 8 devices can bring, rather than being “too literal” about features.

He adds: “It is about themes like sharing and staying connected, working and playing together, and expressing yourself. They are what connect and resonate across cultures in this digital social age and what is absolutely core to the product.”

Earlier this week, Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer said the launch of Windows 8 marks “the beginning of a new era” for the company.

Forrester predicts Microsoft will continue to lose share in the personal device between now and 2016, in spite of the launch of Windows 8, but this will stabilise at 30 per cent by that time.

The company’s share of operating systems, which in 2008 was 95 per cent has fallen to 30 percent in 2012 as it struggled to compete with Apple and Google.

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