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SAN FRANCISCO (AdAge.com) -- Microsoft Corp.'s UltimateTV this week launches a holiday advertising campaign with a series of humorous spots as well as a rebate offer at a number of retailers.

The eight-week campaign includes ads in six markets and a national campaign on digital satellite TV provider DirecTV. Each of the spots highlights a feature of UltimateTV.

One ad, called "PEVR" -- for "pause, empathize, validate and resume" -- a husband stops a program to talk with his wife. In another, an advertsing executive fast forwards through programs to critique commercials. Two spots focus on the "My Shows" feature, which allows recording of selected shows.

Retailers participating in UltimateTV's $100 rebate offer -- Best Buy, Radio Shack, Circuit City, Good Guys, Ultimate, Tweeter and Amazon.com -- will include notice on circulars and in-store materials as well as holiday gift guides and other materials.

The campaign marks the debut of new San Francisco creative shop Venables/Bell & Partners, which was founded by two former Goodby, Silverstein & Partners creatives, Paul Venables and Greg Bell.

UltimateTV, which launched more than a year ago, allows consumers to pause live TV, as well as watch one show while recording another on a hard-disc drive. The service competes with TiVo's personal TV service and ReplayTV.

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