Leaks are always fun, at least if you’re on the outside. It gives you a peek as to what’s coming next. While there have been many on the Windows Phone 8.1 front, it looks like Microsoft’s advertising arm is not immune from them either.
Long story short is that Microsoft is shopping around its global advertising account to interested parties. The company wants to refocus from “product-specific ads to broader consumer and business-oriented campaigns”. That news comes from Adweek, who are the go-to leaders in advertising culture and news. It significant because it reveals how aware – and concerned – Microsoft is with its image, especially with the new ‘One Microsoft’ business ideology. Reports suggest that this account could handle up to 80% of their advertising, making this a significant land for any agency.
Microsoft needs this guy...
Visions of Don Draper, scotch and backroom pitches have just entered our collective heads.
New chief marketing officer Chris Capossela told Adweek:
"The ability to tell more cohesive stories to consumers that are not simply related to a single individual product leads us to obviously look at what are the right partners to be able to think in a new and different way to reflect the way we want consumers to both experience and engage with our products"
That sounds a lot like the Apple model of advertising. While Apple does not shy from boasting about new features in specific products, their advertising has an overall arch to it that tells a story. Most of you can probably fill in various words to describe Apple’s products as a result: simplicity, minimalist, just works, premium (cough, 'pretentious', cough). Microsoft doesn’t quite have that luxury, instead they seemed bogged down with legacy memes on ‘blue screens of death’, Office jokes and of course product failures like Kin and – some may argue – Windows 8 itself.
It’s an interesting problem if only because Microsoft’s products are good. They’re not selling snake oil here. Windows 8.1, Xbox One, OneDrive, Windows Phone, Azure, Xbox Music and Video, these are all well received products that lack a cohesive marking strategy. That may now finally change.
According to Adweek, Microsoft plans to finish the hunt for a new advertising agency by next month, once they hear a final round of pitches. Let’s hope that the team selecting the winner has the right eye to pick success.