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Marketer: Microsoft Office

Agency: Universal McCann, San Francisco

Microsoft and Universal McCann target office workers frustrated by information overload as close to work as possible.

Microsoft Office is trying to tap into the angst office workers feel about software by placing ads where they will be seen just moments from the office.

"We want to reach people as close to the moment of frustration as possible, when pain is top of mind," said Brian Monahan, VP-group communications director at Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann. "The overall strategy is to make information workers who use PCs to do their jobs aware there are new versions of Microsoft Office products that can help manage some of the pain of the modern workplace, like information overload and not being in the loop."

The creative by McCann Erickson Worldwide, Microsoft's global agency, depicts people with dinosaur heads meeting the modern age and voicing their frustrations about software woes. Universal McCann offices in 23 countries were responsible for coming up with innovative media appropriate to their market and the need to reach office workers near their job. So in Canada, the ads appear on elevator doors. In Brazil, buildings will be wrapped. The dinosaur-head guys appear on subway steps in Hong Kong, and on the walls of London's tube. A person in a dinosaur head stands in the center island of a busy Mexico City road holding a sign about Microsoft Office.

Although a major market, China isn't getting the campaign because issues like data overload aren't seen as a serious problem yet there.

The campaign broke in mid-March in the U.S. and started rolling out last month to other countries, where it will run through June 2006, Mr. Monahan said. Work includes print ads and out-of-home and online activity, but no TV. Microsoft's Web site and online ads drive people to a microsoft.com/office/evolve microsite that asks the question "Are you working in a bygone era?" and offers Microsoft Office solutions.

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