Microsoft readies biggest launch campaign in history for Windows 8 – $1.8bn is resting on Crispin Porter’s ‘work hard, play hard’ campaign

Windows 8, coming just two years after its predecessor, is the biggest bet that Microsoft has ever made.

A decade ago Microsoft had the tech market signed up; everybody bought its ever more frequent upgrades for even more money even though many of them moaned how lumpy they were. And it was the biggest company by market cap in the whole wide world.

Now long-time rival Apple is numero uno, Microsoft shareholders have lost a packet, the company has more or less exited advertising after spending billions and the only thing that keeps CEO Steve Ballmer in a job is that founder Bill Gates and wife Melinda seem to have lost interest.

So what’s the big deal about Windows 8? Well we wait to find out. Among other things, it’s supposed to power Nokia’s new phones and, maybe, a range of Microsoft tablets designed to take on Apple and Samsung. The official launch date is October 26.

So this a both a big opportunity and a big burden for Crispin Porter+Bogusky which seems to have beaten McCann to the job of launching this big baby. Its campaign is supposed to be on the theme of ‘work hard, play hard’ according to some leaked internet videos which have now, sadly, been removed. At least the lawyers are profiting from Microsoft’s travails.

Now ‘work hard, play hard’ smacks of trying to be all things to all men, Microsoft aka Windows has done pretty well in the gaming market even as its iron grip on the PC software market has weakened.

MDC-owned CP+B is also not quite the agency it was since creative ‘insurgent’ Alex Bogusky packed his bags for good causes. So it’s a big test for them as well as Microsoft and Ballmer.

Well we’ll bring you the ads when they appear. If CP+B pulls this one of off even my friend George Parker, not their biggest fan, will be buying them a pint of his favourite Boddington’s bitter.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

One comment

  1. Stephen…
    I will try and be fair and objective (Who me?) when I see the efforts of the frat/fart boys from Boulder. The $1.8 Billion is just a rumor at the moment, no hard numbers released yet, but no question, it will be big. Even so, spending that much money on a launch – A few weeks – Would mean media saturation at a level we are currently seeing here for the November elections. Enough to make you want to stab yourself in the eyes with blunt chop sticks. Oh, and a word of advice, are you sure you want to be known as “my friend?” There are quite a few people out there who look less than kindly on my rants… But then, we know who they are, and we know they are wankers. Time for a Boddingtons. Cheers/George

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