MICROSOFT TO BREAK $200 MILLION CAMPAIGN

Global Effort Targets Cash-Strapped Tech Professionals

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Microsoft Corp. this week breaks a $200 million global ad campaign aimed at technology professionals pinched by the down economy.

North America
The software giant has earmarked $100 million for North America, and the campaign, breaking April 24, will include print, TV, online and outdoor advertising for three business software products. Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco, created the campaign, which falls under Microsoft's "Software for the Agile Business" umbrella.

"When we launched 'Agility' three years ago, the environment was very different," said Mike Delman, Microsoft's general manager-advertising. "Today, people still have business needs but they don't have unlimited resources, so IT professionals are getting pressed to do more with less."

Two humorous spots
The campaign will tout Microsoft's software offering for those beleaguered IT managers, including an operating system and database program. Two humorous TV spots will hit cable and prime-time network TV, and another two are planned for later.

In one spot, titled "Nickel," an IT technician makes his way through the office, remarking on all the things he helped save the company a nickel on. People look at him strangely. He bumps into an executive and notes that both achieved a common goal: "We have 200,000 transactions a month, and we saved a nickel on every single one."

Microsoft spent $300 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2002, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR.

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