Microsoft switches ad-agency, hopefully Windows 8 ads will be effective

March 21, 2011

Mary Jo Foley reported the following about Microsoft switching ad agencies:

Microsoft periodically switches ad agencies for various parts of its business. The latest switch was announced on March 18, with Publicis Group’s Starcom MediaVest unit winning a substantial percentage (according to reports) of Microsoft’s North American media-buying dollars.

Today’s win by Starcom isn’t for the creative campaign side of the business; it is for media planning and buying. Microsoft is not disclosing the dollar value of the contract awarded today. (Reuters said it was for “the lion’s share.”) A Microsoft spokesperson sent me the following:

“We have completed our media agency review and have awarded our global media strategy and planning business to Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG). We look forward to partnering with SMG to drive exciting and engaging ways to deliver creative content to our customers in today’s dynamic media marketplace. Universal McCann remains a valuable part of our agency roster and will continue to manage our media planning and buying outside of North America.”

Interpublic’s McCann had been Microsoft’s primary ad agency for years. Recently, the Softies have been moving more of its accounts to other agencies.

Now without speaking specifically of any ad agencies, I can confidently and categorically say the following:

Microsoft ads in general have been pretty horrible.

Unfortunately, I can name a plethora of really ridiculous ads for Microsoft products that make you really wonder why a company with so many resources has been so unable to create successful ad campaigns..

Here are a few gems

The horrible Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates ad


Then the Windows 7 ad with zombies. Zombies in a mass market tech ad. Really?


The creepiest in my book – the ads for the Kin – a creepy ad encouraging HIGHLY RISKY behaviour


and the list does go on..

Strange Bing ads – these probably sounded good on paper


On the other hand, a really good ad I think they have done..

Straightforward, effective, to the point.

I wrote about Microsoft and their ad problems before. Hopefully Windows 8 will have a great ad campaign

What do you guys think? Is it just me?

Article Categories:
Microsoft · Windows 8 Videos

Mike Johnson is a writer for The Redmond Cloud - the most comprehensive source of news and information about Microsoft Azure and the Microsoft Cloud. He enjoys writing about Azure Security, IOT and the Blockchain.

All Comments

  • Aaah…some of the gems from days gone by..

    Assim March 21, 2011 11:46 am Reply
  • I have to strongly agree, Microsoft ads used to miss the point, windows vista had a nice ad campaign but a rather useless product behind it, windows 7 ad campaign was absolutely rubbish but had a great product behind it. Lets hope Microsoft gets it right this time with windows 8, although I remain skeptical until I see the results.

    xinu March 21, 2011 2:45 pm Reply

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