Last month, Microsoft Corp. launched an estimated $500 million marketing campaign to promote Vista, its new operating system that debuted Jan. 30. The campaign includes TV, print, online and outdoor advertising in 20 countries and is aimed at consumers and businesses.
Carrying the tagline "The wow starts now," the campaign was developed by McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco. It features innovative elements such as a human billboard with 16 live dancers forming the Vista icon, and an invitation-only party in New York hosted by Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.
Also last month, GE launched the second phase of "Ecomagination," a broad marketing program to promote the company's environmental commitment.
The campaign, developed by BBDO New York, includes TV, print, online and outdoor ads in the U.S., Europe and Asia. It is aimed at business executives, investors and customers. The marketing budget was undisclosed.
"This is round two of the creative and is all about GE's commitment to improving the environment through our products and services," said Judy Hu, global executive director-advertising and branding at GE.
The first phase of "Ecomagination" debuted in the U.S. in May 2005. Since then it has been rolled out to dozens of countries in North America, Europe and Asia.
The new campaign includes four TV spots: "Frog," a broad environmental message; "Jar," promoting GE's wind energy products, "Fishing," focusing on GE's desalination products; and a fourth, as-yet-unnamed spot that will talk about GE's clean coal products and services.
Online is a key component, with a relaunched Web site at www.ecomagination.com. The site includes seven online videos narrated by actor Kevin Kline showcasing specific GE products and customer interviews.
Slowing down DVR users
Another part of the campaign is "One-second Theater," which features content within a single second's time of the TV spots that DVR users can view if they slow down the commercials and watch them frame by frame.
"This is really designed to get DVR users not to zap through the ads but to go back and look at them," Hu said. The extra content includes nine frames of additional information specific to the GE products in each ad, which appears right before the GE logo comes up near the end of each spot.
Another marketer making a big online push is Intel Corp., which last month launched the b-to-b component of its "Multiply" campaign.
Developed by McCann Worldgroup, New York, the campaign promotes the multitasking capabilities of Intel products, including the Intel Core 2 Duo processor, Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5300 processor for servers and Centrino mobile technology. The budget was undisclosed.
"This campaign indicates the first time that we have a larger proportion of online versus print," said Nancy Bhagat, VP-integrated marketing at Intel. "Online is playing an increasingly more strategic and critical role in our marketing. Our target is familiar with the technology and enjoys using it."
Online components include interactive ads, such as a banner ad featuring cheetahs in which the animals' eyes follow the user's cursor on the screen, and viral elements, including a "pebkac" (problem exists between keyboard and chair) translator, which shows politically correct answers to "stupid IT questions" (www.pebkactranslator.com).
Intel's print and online campaign is rolling out in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, China, Russia, Brazil and India.
HP also debuted a new campaign last month to promote its resellers. The print and online effort was introduced by HP's Personal Systems Group and is an extension of HP's "Personal Again" campaign, which was launched last May.
The new campaign is designed to show how HP partners with local resellers to bring customers value in technology and services. It includes national print ads in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and USA Today, as well as ads in local newspapers and magazines.
The lead creative agency on the account is Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, with McCann Worldgroup, San Francisco, handling regional promotions and demand generation programs.
"The goal is to generate leads for resellers at the local level," said John Dayan, VP-marketing and business development at HP PSG Americas. The budget was undisclosed.
Also in January, CDW launched a $50 million ad campaign to raise awareness of its technology and expertise among business decision makers. The campaign, with the tagline "We're there," was developed by JWT Atlanta and includes TV, print and online.