WEBTV ENLISTS ON-SCREEN FOLK TO PITCH IN ADS

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Microsoft Corp.'s WebTV has switched marketing strategies to show off its ability to make TV do more for everyday viewers.

A humorous ad campaign beginning this week shows individuals in a half-dozen different situations watching TV. During the programming, actors from the "shows" being watched stop the action they're involved in and turn to talk to the "viewer" about various aspects of WebTV.

"WebTV is like having your own little personal robot slave," said Jeff Iorillo, senior VP-group creative director on the account at FCB Worldwide, San Francisco. "Who could better explain the features of WebTV than the shows affected by them?"

Spending is estimated to be in the $25 million range. A teaser spot began running earlier this month.

FIRST ADS FROM FCB

This is the first work for WebTV from FCB, which won the account in August.

WebTV, an independent Microsoft subsidiary acquired in 1997, previously focused on its ability to connect with the Internet, making the device something of a PC replacement.

The earlier effort, from former agency Rubin Postaer & Associates, Santa Monica, Calif., featured celebrities such as soap star Susan Lucci complaining about her

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