Microsoft to “Start Something” With XP Campaign

Microsoft Monday began a 15-month global multi-media campaign that urges to “Start Something” with its Windows XP operating system.

Involving a newly launched microsite and 250 different online creatives, the company says “Start Something” will be one of the largest and longest campaigns in the history of the Windows brand. The XP-focused campaign comes as the software giant works to prepare its upcoming version of Windows, called Longhorn. The effort also precedes competitor Apple’s imminent release of its new OS, Tiger.

McCann-Erickson, along with its interactive agency MRM Partners in San Francisco, worked with Microsoft on the campaign. Exact spending wasn’t disclosed. Besides interactive media, the effort will employ national television, print and out-of-home advertising.

To highlight the different ways consumers can use Windows XP, the campaign revolves around 13 different themes, including education, science, music, sports, family and life management, gaming, photography, cooking, travel, entertainment, work, productivity and entrepreneurship.

“The Start Something campaign celebrates how people can follow their dreams and pursue what they are passionate about,” said Will Poole, senior VP of Windows Client at Microsoft, in a statement.

Campaign copy will include phrases like “Start something curious,” “Start discovering lost cities,” and “Start feeding your brain.” Visuals will include a window that appears over people’s hearts to symbolize how Windows XP enables their passions.

Neither Microsoft nor agency representatives responded to inquiries about the online media plan before press time.

Advertising in all media will point users to windows.com, which has been newly redesigned to complement the campaign. The front page of the microsite shows silhouettes of various individuals who represent different possible uses of Windows.

When a user mouses around on the site, a window icon moves along with the mouse. Highlighting and clicking on a specific person reveals more about how that person could explore their interests using Windows XP. For example, clicking on a picture of a young man takes users to a site section called “start something appetizing,” which highlights various cooking-related hardware and software that works with Windows XP. A picture of a boy takes the user to information about how Windows can be used for educational purposes.

The campaign launches first in the U.S. but will eventually run in a total of 11 countries.

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