The campaign, under the tagline "It's a great time to be a family," marks a return to spendy TV advertising for Microsoft, which had dialed back spending on Windows Phone and its search engine Bing in recent months. The idea here is to take Microsoft's one very-hot consumer product, Xbox Kinect, and connect it to other Microsoft devices built to work seamlessly together.
It's the first time the company will be advertising four products at once, David Webster, Microsoft's chief marketing strategist, told Ad Age in an interview Thursday. The campaign is about technology that brings families together, rather than isolates people when they're together, he added. "Much like a family portrait rather than individual headshots," he said.
The same creative concept will run in 35 global markets, including the U.S. The ads themselves have no dialog, so many versions of the same ads will air around the world with actors of different ethnicities and local music. Some of the international versions -- such as those made for India and Japan -- will also air in the U.S. (Yes, Indian-Americans, you can definitely expect Bollywood references.)
Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the agency that launched Windows Phone, created the new Microsoft "family" campaign and Starcom Mediavest Group planned and bought media, which will include TV spots and pre-roll video online. Wunderman helped globalize the campaign and R/GA created website pages to display products on sale for global markets. Mr. Webster did not disclose Microsoft's total budget for the campaign, which spans many markets and includes high-profile TV inventory.
The campaign harkens back to Apple's digital "digital hub" strategy launched a decade ago that put the iMac at the center of a growing array of consumer devices like the iPhone, iPad, iPod and Apple TV. Apple co-founder and then-CEO Steve Jobs announced that strategy at MacWorld in 2001 as Apple's vision of the future of the PC.
That same year, Apple opened its first retail stores, which today merchandize its range of products from Macbook to iPad, iPhone and, less so, Apple TV together. Apple's hub strategy has definitely shifted over the years; most recently, that hub moved away from hardware and PCs to internet-based storage with Apple's latest…