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Why Microsoft invested so much in Cannes and what it wants from its advertising

Cannes seems a long time ago now but it’s still remarkable the way the festival – once the sole preserve of agencies and production companies – has become such a big thing for clients.

One such is Microsoft with some disbelieving agency types reckoning the tech giant spent up to £10m on its presence at the festival this year. Was it worth it? Here’s what most of the money went on (then there’s the pink wine and stuff, of course).

So will such an investment also help to produce better Microsoft ads? Or brand stories as the company likes to call them. Microsoft has just shunted its humungous creative account to Interpublic’s McCann, to the immense chagrin of rivals including WPP.

Presumably the main driver of this decision – which rather surprised the ad world – was Kathleen Hall, general manager of Microsoft’s global advertising. Here she tells us what creativity means for her.

Which all seems pleasantly logical (as does Ms Hall). Be interesting to see what McCann comes up with.

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