Microsoft ads aim to erase 'huge' image
Software maker's campaign to cost $120 million
Saturday, January 21, 2006
By REBECCA BARR
Microsoft Corp., the world's biggest software maker, will spend $120
million a year on an advertising campaign to fight its image as "a huge
The campaign, using television, print and the Internet, highlights
Microsoft's education and economic development projects in 32
countries, including France and Taiwan, according to group advertising
manager Mike Lucero. Actor William Macy of the movie "Fargo" narrates
"We are often perceived as a huge American company," Lucero said Friday in an interview.
"We wanted to be very specific about what we are doing in each
country in education, innovation, economic opportunity and security,"
The campaign, being run by McCann Erickson, a unit of Interpublic
Group of Cos., is an extension of Microsoft's "Realizing Potential"
advertisements that started in 2002.
"That was a global campaign in the traditional sense, with half a
dozen ads pretty much the same in different countries," Lucero said.
"We had to get very local."
The ads have started to air in some U.S. regions and will appear in
all target markets in coming weeks, with advertisements for the Olympic
Winter Games, the Academy Awards and TV shows including "24," "ER" and
"The West Wing."
Redmond-based Microsoft made almost one-third of its $39.8 billion
in fiscal 2005 revenue outside of the United States, according to a
company filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company's 63,000 employees are based in 102 countries, 37 percent of them outside of the United States.
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