Microsoft’s new “it’s a great time to be a family” commercials have begun to air in the United States.
The new ad campaign aims to demonstrate Microsoft’s broad product portfolio and the integration across Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox and Office. The first 30 second spots aired during the pre-game of Sunday Night Football on NBC. The concept has been put together by Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the agency responsible for launching Microsoft’s Windows Phone operating system.
The first commercial, entitled epic share, features “dad” who is playing Dance Central 2 on the Xbox 360 with Kinect. His kids capture his moves with a Windows Phone and share them to a Windows 7 PC to create a Movie Maker video. The tagline “it’s a great time to be a family” features at the end of the spot before the advert claims “it all starts with a Windows 7 PC.” which is not strictly true given the fact the commercial starts with a father dancing with Kinect.
The second commercial, entitled dog.ppt, features a boy presenting a PowerPoint presentation to his parents on why the family needs a dog. The commercial features a Windows 7 touch PC and Office 2010. After the son’s success, the dad of the family creates his own presentation about golfing on a Sunday. The advert’s tagline features “it’s a great time to be a family” before the claim of “it all starts with a Windows 7 PC, which is accurate in this particularly spot. Both adverts are part of a broader marketing campaign designed to encourage sales of Windows 7 PCs. The software maker has also created a mini-site to highlight the latest and greatest “PC picks.”
Microsoft’s first commercials feel somewhat lacking. The software giant continues to struggle with its consumer message and fails to deliver a compelling reason to pick Windows over the competition. In comparison, Google and Apple both focus on their products with an emotional attachment that resonates with the viewer. Apple’s iPhone 4 FaceTime adverts depict a simple video sharing scenario with a highly emotional occasion. Similarly Google’s Dear Sophie advert depicts a dad storing his daughter’s life in Google’s cloud. Both commercials leave the viewer wanting to know more and it’s difficult not to shed a tear at the powerful and compelling message of them.
Microsoft has produced a number of different marketing campaigns over the years. Some were extremely successful and others failed to generate interest. Microsoft’s laptop hunters commercials were the first test of the “I’m a PC” message and they worked well to counter Apple’s Mac adverts at the time. They kick started a broad effort to highlight the advantages of a PC and were generally well received. In comparison, Microsoft’s Windows Phone “really” commercials failed to generate an interest or understanding of Windows Phone devices.
Microsoft’s marketing campaigns totalled over $900 million in 2010 with $400 million spent on the company’s brand, $100 million on Bing and nearly $60 million on Xbox. The new “great to be a family” commercials will air worldwide in 35 countries, localised in each region. Let us know what you think of them in the comments section below.