Microsoft will rebrand itself with three, 60-second commercial spots


A few sentences from a creative content writer hint that Microsoft is preparing to shift its public image. A cryptic message on the Cargo Collective portfolio suggest that three, 60-second spots will help change and reinvent Microsoft.

The man checks out. He’s done copy for Dr. Pepper and Diet Snapple Campaigns. What’s he doing at Microsoft? A re-branding. This is what it says:

“Currently under NDA for project specifics. Hired to re-brand the image of Microsoft in three 60-second spots.”

Microsoft is one of those companies that faces a bit of an image problem with the public. Let’s be honest, you and I live in somewhat of a ‘pro-Microsoft’ bubble. We use, cover, and talk about Microsoft products all day long. Sure there are flaws that need to be addressed with them, nonetheless we really enjoy them. But outside our bubble, most people remember Microsoft as that greedy, monopolistic company of the late 90’s. The same company that gave us Vista and the Blue Screen of Death. That image is the one Microsoft needs to shake if it hopes to compete with Google and Apple for mindshare.

So what are these supposed 60-second spots going to be like? We have no clue. You can check out the portfolio of the content writer to get an idea for his specific style. What do you guys think Microsoft should do to help change its public image?

This is a big year for Microsoft. Windows Phone 8 is still fighting an uphill battle against iOS and Android. Windows 8 is helping shift how we think of computing. The next Xbox is expected. And all these devices are going to tie-in even better with future ‘Blue’ updates. If there was a time to shift the public’s perception of Microsoft, this would be that year.

Source: MSFT Kitchen


Reader comments

Microsoft will rebrand itself with three, 60-second commercial spots


I'm in with Microsoft 1000%. I've had a Hotmail account since before it was a Microsoft platform. Run every OS with pride (maybe less so with Vista). Still have my plastic Microsoft Expert Zone membership card. I've beta test whatever I can get my hands on. Been to several launch events (and got the t-shirts to prove it!) The day Microsoft fails, is the day I drop dead from shock.

Using Vista Super Ultimate right now. It's called Windows 8. (Check the OS version numbers.)

Surface Phone
Surface 2
Surface Pro 2
They're buying Nokia
Free phones for anyone making stupid lists in the comments on WPCentral.
Halo 3 for PC.

This is what they should do.  Have three announcments.  One before the iPhone to steal their thunder, one DURING the iPhone announcment to add further distraction, and then one after the iPhone announcment to kill their honeymoon coverage period.

Sounds good. Hope it plays out this way. Anyone getting the new iPhone will find out how short the honeymoon really is with Crapple :)

Here is a tip, do not use these:
That is a start and also, no dancing or fast music in your commercials, i have no idea what im looking at

Opening a whole new Window. I have been thinking of this line ever since win 8. Simple and can be a basis for an add campaign. Say what you want about Apple but they know how to advertise.

Anything is possible. Apple used to be Apple Computers, RIM to blackberry. Soon we could be on Macrohard's oses.

They should start with Windows. It's probably the brand within microsoft that has the worst reputation from the past. Plus people usually use their programs in full screen. That's is part of the reason they are pushing metro and full screen apps. The name Windows doesn't really apply to the direction they want to go. 

MS could probably make a lot of progress by cleaning out the top leadership (not happening)...too many of the 'old guard' still there

Windows everywhere. Phone, 7" tablet, new XBox, 55" TV, and the 82" Perceptive Pixel display. Classrooms, parks, emergency response centers. Voice, Gesture Touch. Lions Tigers and Bears

If Microsoft plans on changing its image, their products and behavior would have to justify it. I believe their recent products will reinforce this change in image that they seek. Pick up any recent Microsoft product and you begin to question if it's truly a Microsoft product because of how good it is. The problem I see that would contradict their new image is their behavior. The scroogle campaign and Gmail man was brilliant. I think it was a good way to inform people of Google's business. But that's where it should end - informing the public and letting them make their own decision on what they should use. Any other actions, most notably legislative actions, just makes you look anti-competitive and whiney. Maybe I'm looking at it from inside the bubble.

I honestly don't really get the sense that people are aware of those campaigns. On the other hand I think that's good. They are terrible and should never have been made. The unfortunate difference between those and the I'm a PC, I'm mac adds is that the mac dude seemed sympathetic to the PC. It makes a world of difference. Windows adds seem just too hateful and spiteful. They need a new add company. Maybe this guy can do a better job. Let's hope. 

I'll be impressed if they can achieve this in 3 TV ads. I agree, this is what is needed. At this point, they can have the greatest product ever and it will get trashed in the tech media. Its a good lesson in the importance of not sacrificing your long-term reputation for a quarterly earning report. MS made a lot of enemies in the past. Its hard for people to forget that.

I'm more concerned with the quality of their products. You can rebrand a brand a dozen times. If it is unable to offer something special to the consumer, that makes it different, the reband will be worth nothing.


I think that MS is already well down the road of re-branding themselves. Their products (Xbox, Win8, WP8, Surface) speak for themselves as "something different, modern and desirable" and with straight-up marketing, MS has even taken a dig at its own old image e.g. with it's IE10/11 campaigns such as "IE Sucks Less" and "IE Growing Up".


A few ads that demonstrate how Microsoft products and services all work together would be cool - say... 

A project leader is on-site, collaborating on a document and making notes with a stylus (through Office 365) and video chatting (through Skype) with their office-bound team on their Dell XPS 12. 

A uni student folding out a Surface RT in a lecture to get some work done (Office RT) while listening to streaming music (Xbox Music), then at home plugging in a controller (and perhaps their TV) to play some Xbox Live games.

A teenager organises a movie night, inviting people to the event through her WP8 Lumia. When people arrive she uses Kinect and Smart Glass to browse, stream, play and control the show on her Xbox.


So many ways to show MS products working together (the way Apple would say their products work together). 

"A uni student folding out a Surface RT in a lecture to get some work done (Office RT) while listening to streaming music (Xbox Music)"
I'm not sure showing a student listening to music during class is the way to go...LOL

Oh dear, I feel Microsoft is going to get it wrong again. Rebranding something is not going to solve all the problems that Microsoft has. Take the Surface commercial. They'd produced an 60 second commercial which was cut down to 30 seconds shown on tv. Well on UK telly anyway. It didn't really make the right impression for a product that is rarely available. Also most of Microsoft campaigns is usually targeted at one specific region, normally it's country of origin, the USA. If Microsoft really wants to change, then they need to restructure first and then rebrand.

I'm one of those who recently entered that "bubble" and enjoy the view from inside. I would hope that MSFT would take this opportunity to showcase their vision for software across multiple devices. They don't have to outsell Samsung or produce more Tablets than Apple. Just need to show that they can produce fun and innovative products and soon the bubble will be bursting. They're a software company and a damned good one. If they remember that the rest will come.

"...faces a bit of an image problem with the public"
Understatement of the century.
The sad part is that Microsoft put themselves into that position.

Microsoft put themselves into it mainly because they got tired of people stealing their software, where its not now, its common place to activate software now, but Microsoft got a bad rap for it, and of course for Vista and Melliuem, the ugly red headed stepchildren of Microsofts prodigny.

I'm all in with Microsofts Windows Phone 8 L920 and Windows 8 and can't wait for Blue to come out. Microsoft is getting better and better and I love the shift that they are doing, like instead of being all for buisness they are trying to reach outside to the fun part of things, Its funny if you ask a gamer, what kind of PC he wants to play games on, its Microsodt hands down, because you can soup the rig up and games play so much better then on Apple and liinux doesn't even have a horse in the race, why I ahave always said, if you could play video games on Linux it would take over. Also I play WOW and those type games. :)

does anyone else think "Windows Blue" albeit a codename is not a great strategic campaign for a Windows "refresh?" In my mind, it reinforces the moniker, "Blue-Screen-of-Death"...everything is Windows BLUE.. are we in for a massive system failure???

I use win OS because its whats ive been raised to use. Though i became an expert over the yaers n now im a certified technician. Windows as a pc os is the best, dont know much for wp8... Its lcking a whole lot. Ms should first unite wp8 with win8 and make them seemless before rebranding themselvrs. I dont live in an ms bubble, ivory used all other OSes out there n win is still my choice only cuz i need ms integration for my stuff. Ms is behaving like apple lately ex. U cant install dropbox as u cloud handler u MUST use SkyDrive when its always so buggy (just like icloud), just cuz of that makes me want to use bb10 or Android. Anyways, iwouls like them to keep climbing since i have the feeling once they're phone line is powerful, it'll be much better than now

OMG lol,... this is horribly written!!! I created this reply on my wp8 at 3am cuz I couldn't fall asleep. hahahaah wow... i can't barely understand what was the message I was trying to deliver.  Let me just refrase this real quick:
I meant to say that I was raised using windows all my life. That i've used all OSes out there but I still chose windows before offers more to me, such as MS products integration like office and contacts.  I also commented about MS behaving like apple and the example I gave was that on WP8 and RT you cannot use other cloud options and you MUST use skydrive.  I'd rather use dropbox because i've paid for it, and skydrive is still buggy.  Apple now has allowed you to use dropbox on their iDevices and MS should do the same, becuase of this, I feel I will change from WP8 to BB10 or even android.
In the end, I wanted to communicate that before MS rebrands itself it should fix this issues that WALL their uses into their OS, and be an open yet STABLE platform.
Anywyas, LOVE YOUR COMMENT Ihoyihoy, I AM FROM INDIA! ... well second generation, as you can see i can crearly write in english.. and make sense of it. hahahahaahaha

3 ads = 3 screens?
And a common theme running through the ads (the cloud).
Phone, TV (Xbox), PC/tablet (Windows 8/RT)?

MS looking to shif it's public image hu? Well stop forcing Windows 8 on people who don't have touch devices or simply don't want it, make Windows Phone more open and you'll see it prosper. If not they will always fight an up hill battle. Not bashing or trolling, this is just the plain and simple truth.

How are they forcing Windows 8 on you? If you want a computer running an older version of Windows take that up with the OEM's. That said, you can live quite comfortably on the desktop in Windows 8 if the start screen bothers you that much.

For Windows 8, they FORCE the Metro UI onto every system, touch or not.  Metro UI is a total joke if you dont have Touch, and pritty much removes multi-tasking from Windows.  I run Windows 8 but got Start8 and never looked back.  Yes, I did try Metro and wanted to like it (I have a 8X), but on two 24" monitors, it was useless.  Skype didnt even work right.  Every time you minimized Metro Skype, it would put your phone call on hold.  Same for media player!  What ever happened to multi-tasking? 

They don't FORCE the metro UI on you, I use windows 8 and goto the start screen once a week for anything beside launching desktop apps.

The more I use the Metro UI, the more I like it. I wish they could integrate win8 with itself, so you aren't always kicked out into the desktop and back. My biggest fault with it so far is it feels like two OS's.

Still lost. If the metro version of things bothers you so much why don't you just download the desktop version so you don't have to use the metro one, one which is indeed optimized for touch? I have no desire to have the start menu back as I honestly hadn't really been using it for years with the ability to pin stuff to my taskbar and the desktop icons available to me. However, I understand that not everyone is used to just typing to get to their programs so whatever floats your boat.

I honestly think that most of the people complaining about being "forced" to deal with the Metro UI (for all of 3 seconds after each reboot if you know what you're doing) would be the same people who, if MS hadn't "forced" Metro on them, would complain that Windows Store apps don't run on their laptop.

To say Microsoft forces anything on anyone is a lie. You're free to use whatever you want. That said, Metro UI works fine with a mouse. I got used to it. Its easy now. Besides, 95% of my time is spent in Desktop mode anyway. The UI is cool, but limited functionality. They're just glorified desktop icons in row. For Windows Phone it's awesome. I say just kill Desktop mode or make it the default. I mean 99.9% of the time, that's the first thing I click on.

If you make desktop your default and then overlay the metro ui, it might work better. The alternative is to eliminate desktop mode, but then you just have a mobile OS, not much of a desktop.

Live the bubble, love the bubble, cherish the bubble! lol, but in all seriousness. I've stopped using everything Google except YouTube. Wish MS would make a YouTube competitor. Hate what Google's done with it & the ads every 10 seconds everywhere. The site is also slow & laggy. Some videos take forever to load. If you try 1080p, might as well pause it & come back 5 mins later, lol.

As much as I dislike google and the ads in YouTube, get a better ISP. 1080P videos load for me instantly, heck 4K slow mos load for me in about 15 seconds.

I have a fast ISP... I knew someone would try saying this. I can download 1080p movies in under 30 mins. I should have no problem streaming a low quality 1080p YouTube video that isn't even really 1080p.

I think this is a great idea. But, I never see microsoft use their box logo in their ADs. Maybe they should redo their logo and logotype first. Niether stand out and they only use the word microsoft in their ads they need something a little stronger.

MS is a massive corp, and you dont swiftly manuver something that big.  If Microsoft is ANYTHING, its NOT "agile" and I doubt 3 60 second commercials will be much more then lip service to what ever trend is happening 6 months ago. 

Remember, every OS has devs that work really hard to make cool things for people to enjoy. Find the one that works best for you and have fun with it. I'm fickle and love them all :-D

On the numbers & symbols keypad, tap the arrow just above the abcd key and you see more symbols, including the '+' key.

Microsoft has been the most consistent of the bunch. Whether we wish to think so or no matter what the rest of the world might say. We all use MS products for different reasons and have our own horror tales to tell both of our beloved MS tools and of our foray into other ecosystems. People have been sharing their personal stories, so here is a mostly accurate list, including things that are "if only..." like my first computer:
Atari 400 w/Tape drive, then Indus 5 1/4 floppy
Atari 130xe
Tandy PC (eventually loaded Windows 2.x as I wanted to use software needing Windows)
Windows 3.1
Windows 95
Windows Me
Windows XP
Windows Vista (upgraded to Ultimate to take advantage of Langauges on Japanese system)
Windows 7 (upgraded to Ultimate " ")
Windows 8 Developer (Acer Tablet)
Windows 8 Consumer Preview (Acer Tablet, Fujitsu Laptop)
Windows 8 RTM
Windows 8 Pro (Acer Tablet & Fujitsu) It is a myth that Windows 8 is not good on non-touch systems
Surface RT
Toshiba e800 PDA
Toshiba Windows Mobile Phone
iPod 80gb (died twice)
Zune 30
Zune 80
Zune HD
iPhone 3G (abandoned WindowsMobile as the Japanese handset did not play well with applications downloaded)
Jumped ship as soon as my contract ended, but continue to be disappointed MS Japan choosed not to attempt to really enter this market.
Xbox 360
HTC Titan now WP7.8
Of course there are dogs in there, like Me. But through all this, backwards compatibility have kept me on this platform and most of what they put out quite simply works. And I have a Microsoft mouse in a drawer that refuses to hae the devil exorcized. Now my PC and Xbox talk more civily to each other. My music has synced across devices. I can shoot video or music or other content through the Xbox on one TV and with HDMI even from the Surface (take that, iPad).
Give up on either Windows 8 or WP8? Nah....There is much more to come.

Damn,you sound like me, lol.

Windows 95/98/98SE/2000/XP Pro/Vista Ultimate/7 Ultimate/8 Pro/HTC Excalibur (T-Mobile Dash, WM 5/6/6.1/6.5)/HTC Tytn II (AT&T Tilt Unlocked on T-Mobile, WM 6/6.5)/HTC Touch Pro 2 (T-Mobile, WM 6/6.5/6.5.3/6.5.5)/HTC HD7 (T-Mobile, WP7/7.5/7.8)/HTC 8X (T-Mobile, WP8)

Personally I love MS but Windows is killing them by this I mean the name. Why not call yourself are you ready for this "Microsoft". I would same MS Xbox, plain Microsoft for mobile phone "MM" short Microsoft Mobile, Microsoft WIN8, etc. This is my opinion of course.

Heard they hired the "minimalist minimal" guy some weeks ago (I forget his name now...he came up with some interesting and concepts that are quite popular online). This is probably part of the process he is involved in. Surely exciting times.

After looking at the source and this person's (whoever he is) bone fides, I'm calling complete BS on this story. The idea that a company the size of MS is going to task this guy with a "rebranding" is completely ridiculous. Perhaps he working as an independent consultant on some aspects of a new ad campaign, but that's probably the extent of it.

If MS really wants to rebrand itself, it will stop waking up late and sending products out the door half-baked. Quickly fix the obvious big problems with W8 and start putting you money where your mouth is with Xbox Music. Actions speak louder than words and you don't need a bloody marketing genius to tell you that. 

I'm a MS honk myself, I have an 822 and wouldn't give it up for anything but a newer wp on Verizon.  I'm a c# dev and my dev machine is Win8.
That being said, I don't know how a "re-branding" with 3 commercials could really do much.
I feel embarrassed when I see the Will Arnet commercials, and the Surface commercial with the angry school girls creeps me out and is over played. I love the Jessica Alba commercials, but it doesn't seem like anyone cares, especially when the paid celebs end up tweeting from their iPhones anyway.
At this point, I think it's all about the products. As posted by WPCentral, there are too many missing features I want for my WP, and Win8 could use some help too.  I'm not talking about perfection, but a bunch of little things that tell me a rebranding isn't the first answer.  Fix what we have and then worry about the re-branding.

What Microsoft needs to do is buy a calendar and realize what year it is.  It has to stop being "Mr. Rogers marketing to the Cleavers".  That is "not" the demographic that drives mobile electronics. Young people drive this market. Even if it's older people who have the money they get their buying advice from younger people, who are more hip and knowledgeable about technology.  Microsoft should take far more advantage of pop and hip hop culture to market it's products. It must make it's product the "cool thing to have" amongst younger demographics (18-30 age group).  I agree with the comment about the Will Arnet commercial, who the hell thinks Will Arnet is "cool"...only people who are Ballmer's age.  Microsoft needs to use pop stars and hip hop stars in "their enviroment" using these phones and tablets and explaining why "It's just better!" . Iphone and Android sales will drop "instantly" and Microsoft will take over. It really is that simple.  For example, when Joe Clayton was the CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio, I convinced him to drop the "marketing to uppity middle aged people" approach and to sign Eminem, who at the time had a 9 times platinum album out and also had 50 cent in his stable, who had his own multi platinum album out.  It wasn't long after that when Sirius' subscriptions increased so much that they were able to buy out their only competition...XM Satellite Radio.  Hip Hop and rap culture is a marketing gold mine of impulse buyers who follow their entertainment heroes like the pied piper.  Wake up Microsoft!!