REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 14, 2000 — Embarking on its largest-ever consumer advertising campaign, Microsoft Corp. today launched a recharged MSN TM network of Internet services and sent it aloft on the wings of a butterfly.
The more than $150 million advertising campaign for MSN uses a humorous story line to convey how people can improve their lives by using MSN to take advantage of the Web any time, anywhere and from any type of Internet access device. At the same time, Microsoft today unveiled the new MSN branded logo, a multicolored butterfly that symbolizes the uniqueness, aspiration, freedom and personal empowerment that people experience when using MSN to bring the Internet into their everyday lives. The ad campaign and the butterfly logo capture the unique integration of MSN and best-of-breed Internet services, the real reason millions of people can have fun and enjoy the benefits of using the Internet.
“The new ad campaign delivers a fresh perspective on what people can do with the Web every day using MSN,”
said Brad Chase, senior vice president in the Consumer Group at Microsoft.
“MSN aims not only to make common tasks truly simple on the Web, but also opens up a new world of adventure by connecting people and information around the world. That’s why our new butterfly logo is the perfect embodiment of what MSN stands for.”
The ad campaign, called MSN Project, launches today with a series of television spots created by McCann Erickson/A & L that use a
(mock documentary) format — a fictitious look at characters dealing with everyday situations to show how relevant and indispensable the Everyday Web can be. There are four strangers, very different people of various ages, backgrounds and walks of life. Karen, Mike, Georgia and Jackson are challenged to build a life together as they move into a house where they start with a connection to MSN and use MSN for everything they do on the Internet. The spots follow the characters’ experiences as they take advantage of the integrated services and discover that MSN has the ability to transform the way they use the Internet and to enhance their lives.
As the story line develops, the characters use a variety of MSN services to get things done every day, such as using MSN Search to find furniture for the house, MSN eShop to comparison shop for the perfect purchase, the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service to communicate with others outside the house, MSN Web Communities to share photos with family and friends, or the MSN MoneyCentral TM online personal finance service to manage their house budget.
The spots are aimed at adults of varying ages, backgrounds and Internet experience levels and will run on major broadcast and cable networks across a variety of time segments and on shows such as
“Frasier,” “Law & Order,” “Now and Again,”
NBA basketball and
“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”
The print campaign will run in major magazines including Time, Newsweek, US News & World Report, New York Magazine and Entertainment Weekly, as well as for the next two weeks in national newspapers such as The New York Times, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal.
The MSN butterfly logo, a somewhat unusual direction for Microsoft branding, retains the yellow, orange, blue and green color scheme common to Microsoft’s other major brands including the Microsoft® Windows® operating system, Office and the BackOffice® family. Its release follows successful worldwide testing with consumers. It was created for MSN by McCann-Erickson’s FutureBrand subsidiary.
“We wanted a logo that is unique among the major Internet brands, that fits with the Microsoft brand, and that captures the spirit and imagination of what Microsoft’s software, content and services can do to empower people’s everyday lives,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, director of marketing for the Consumer Group at Microsoft.
“The MSN butterfly icon and cleaner, simpler font that accompanies it are meant to capture the imagination and freedom that people should feel from using MSN.”
MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at MSN.com TM ( http://MSN.com/ ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; wireless services information; customizable access to news; popular sites for personal finance, travel, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
Microsoft, MSN, Hotmail, MoneyCentral, Windows, BackOffice and MSN.com are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.