New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family

New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family

Summary: Microsoft is launching a new holiday ad campaign during NBC Sunday Night Football with the theme "It's a Great Time to Be a Family."


Microsoft is kicking off a new holiday ad campaign during Sunday Night Football on NBC on October 16.

The theme of the 35-country campaign, created by Microsoft ad partner Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is "It's a great time to be a family." Microsoft is using the word "family" in two ways: To emphasize that its Windows PC, Office, Xbox/Kinect and Windows Phone technologies can appear to all members of families; and to play up its portfolio, or family, of technologies.

(Microsoft isn't disclosing how much it is spending on the new family-focused campaign.)

"Consumers are making portfolio-level decisions," said David Webster, Microsoft Chief Marketing Strategist. "We want them to meet the family."

Microsoft isn't going to be playing up in any of the new spots the new "Windows PCs in tablet form factors" that its hardware partners are bringing to market. (The company's real iPad competitors -- Windows 8 tablets -- are still about a year away from availability, company watchers believe.) Instead, the new spots will be highlighting more traditional Windows 7 PCs, which might be of interest to XP home users who haven't looked at the new form factors that have been introduced in the past few years.

The ads will show these kinds of PCs as just one of a number of Microsoft products that might appeal to holiday shoppers, Webster said.

"It's a big experiment for us, putting all these products (from different Microsoft business groups) together," Websters said.

Microsoft isn't going to be emphasizing speeds, feeds or interoperability among these products in its new campaign. Instead, it will be attempting to get users who might have one Microsoft product at home (or work) to think about buying another.

"A lot of people don't know we (Microsoft) make the Xbox," Webster said.

The new campaign won't replace the single-product ad campaigns Microsoft already has and/or is planning to launch this year (such as dedicated Xbox campaigns). In markets where Microsoft Stores exist, the ads will drive users to those stores; in markets where they don't, Microsoft's new ads will direct potential buyers to their local retail stores.

I asked Webster what kinds of families (traditional, nuclear vs. more modern-day ones) Microsoft was highlighting in the new campaign. He said the main focus will be on "extended families," of which everyone can claim to be a part.

Update (October 16): Here's one of the first ads in the new "family" holiday series (thanks, @harlemS):

And here's the one that aired during Sunday night football pre-game:

What do you think?

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Laptops, Microsoft, Mobility, Operating Systems, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Sounds ...

    ... nice.
    P. Douglas
    • Just don't mention little zune

      Never really had a chance, poor little guy. Xmas will never be the same really;-)
      Richard Flude
      • You are right

        @Richard Flude
        Nothing can compete against Apple.

        It is a sick market.

        We all lose.
      • Ditto

        [i]Nothing can compete against Apple.

        It is a sick market.

        We all lose.[/i]

        I've been telling Microsoft that for years.
      • RE: New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family

        @Richard Flude

        You do know that Zune isn't actually dead, just integrated into WP7? The hardware, yes, but that's not a surprise - dedicated PMPs have been dying for a number of years now (except amongst those of us who really care about SQ)
  • RE: New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family

    >>A lot of people don???t know we (Microsoft) make the Xbox,??? Webster said<<
    This is proof of Microsoft being not only out of touch, but delusional. The xbox 60 box has Microsoft right on it, and I am sure consumers are not that ignorant. Maybe Microsoft is looking for another half a billion in write offs.
    • RE: New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family


      Please show at least one picture of an Xbox 360 or packaging with the word Microsoft 'right on it'. It's not asking much for one picture to prove your point, is it?...
      • RE: New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family

        Look at the picture in the lower area of the page. It clearly states Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way Redmond Wa.
    • @FuzzyBunnySlippers is right

      Which explains why Microsoft is ashamed of itself.

  • It's important to not mention 'Microsoft'

    people immediately have distasteful and hateful thoughts toward that name, so you gotta mention other names or whatever!
    • Can't say that I blame them

      Whenever the younger crowd sees the word Microsoft, they think of daddy's lumbering old XP machine.
  • RE: New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family

    "Portfolio-level decisions"?

    At what level were the consumers making decisions the last time Microsoft looked?

    Is the portfolio above or below the mezzanine?

    This consumer is making the Bikini Bottom level decision to wish them a Spongebobby good look with that and to move on.
  • RE: New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family

    This may be a repeat post, but I waited before I redid it.

    "Portfolio-level decision?" At what level were decisions made before and is the portfolio above the basement but below the mezzanine?

    Well, if that's the premise that drives the campaign: good luck with that.
  • RE: New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family

    I'm not sure how well this is going to pan out. I love Microsoft and I'm not here to start a flame war. To be honest, Microsoft products and interoperability really needs to be refined because it's not too user friendly. For example, "Homegroup" setup sharing media I feel it's still in its infant stage. The really need to focus on integration (which they clearly admit that they are eliminating from the advertisement). Win8 is not ready for primetime and they are too slow in moving forward and I think their strategy isn't clear. There should be a Windows 7.5 (just like WP7.5) to boost the tablet usability to bridge the gap. Anyway, I still hope this will work and have some impact for business.
  • Family sounds sweet....

    Unfortunately it's usual families breaking up as well.

    This Phone talks makes people go nuts these days.
    Has gone to far when believe it'll work in desktop computers.

    What they have to offer the PC market this time is just crazy. 3 years work from a company in this size, wouldn't it be conceivable in claim and expecting something better?
  • RE: New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family

    Using the word 'family' and 'Microsoft' in the same sentence seems very odd. While I get the idea of trying to leverage on the success of some products to sell others, the perception of technology products like MS's (including the XBox) is that they are 'anti-family' in that they promote the ability to 'be alone in the crowd' by using technology to disconnect from those around us. For example, the XBox and other MS products, if they foster any human connection, it is with remote people, not with those around us. Trying to promote family seems awfully counter-intuitive to me. Good luck.
    • RE: New Microsoft holiday ad campaign: We are family


      Not really. Kinect multiplayer seems to encourage it, rather.
  • I have questions...

    ...about Dog.PPT. Who makes PowerPoint presentations when discussing things at home? Is that how people really use computers at home nowadays?

    My home is very tech-friendly, with computers (Windows and Mac), laptops, smartphones, and video game consoles in nearly every room throughout the house. Although all of the computers in the house have Microsoft Office installed, not one person in my household has ever made a PowerPoint presentation to argue a point or present an idea to the rest of the family. this how computers are really used? I'm thinking Microsoft may have missed the mark with this one.
  • white cocktail dress

    <strong><a href="">Wedding Dresses</a></strong><strong><a href="">Wedding Gowns</a></strong>???One for the biggest features of digital picture taking over common film picture taking would be the fact such little items actually give you a photographer immediate access to various special issues. One that is spectacular worth mentioning effects would be the ability photography gives to change instantly with color to white or black exposures. <strong><a href="">Bride Dresses</a></strong>Rather then having to convert out motion picture types or maybe drain color in a shot for the computer computer screen, digital taking photographs does this right then. <br />
    <br />
    The fact is black and even white photography generally under-rated. <strong><a href="">Bridesmaids Dresses</a></strong>When it`s familiar with create a positive change with an endeavor, the ending up image is often amazing. Countryside, portraits and in some cases still lifestyle type photos can all really benefit from an the occasional switch onto white and black. Learning the best way to make use of this portrait digital photography technique, having said that, will take some time. <strong><a href="">Evening Dresses</a></strong><br />
    <br />
    Such type of digital photography generally is a little tricky to perfect it, but ever since the cameras in general come furnished with monitors for you to instantly notice results, chance factor about walking away that has a bad picture is reduced. Since pictures is usually reviewed right then, anyone striving this portrait digital photography technique can get they are able to access their photographs and come up with adjustments instantly generally if the shot isn`t quite what they`d wished for. <strong><a href="">Chiffion Strapless Straight Neckline with Empire Slim</a></strong><br />
    <br />
    To benefit from black in addition to white images taken at a digital camera, there really are several points beginners could try. The following pointers do change to ordinary film taking pictures, as good. <br />
    <br />
    Be aware of the shot<br />
    This is usually a very important way of paper digital photography and in some cases color. <strong><a href="">blue prom dresses</a></strong>It`s crucial to really give thought to what that camera perceives and displays before getting upset the picture. In white and black digital photos, the monitor is likely to switch onto white and black mode, which are this quite possibly easier. <strong><a href=""> discount flower girl dresses</a></strong>Practice watching the images since they are displayed and make sure that the snapshot presented certainly is the one you prefer before one shoot. If you ever learn to use the observe or the particular view locater, you`ll learn when a great deal more light ought to be required, when subjects has to be moved or perhaps when it`s best for those who move oneself. <strong><a href="">Sexy Open Back Hot Evening Gown</a></strong><br />
    <br />
    Set off is everything<br />
    Since white and black digital taking pictures doesn`t use color to find out the account, the variety of shades will surely have to be depended upon. This has become the most important paper shooting suggestions for learn. You must make confident subjects shine even way more in paper than throughout color. <strong><a href="">Strapless Wedding gowns</a></strong>When a shadowy blue t shirt might glimpse awesome in opposition to a black green placing in colors, it will get lost on the shuffle in white and black. <br />
    <br />
    Have fun with with lighting<br />
    While the fact that dark t shirt and black background can easily present problems compared, lighting can certainly help fix the challenge. The simplest to professional lighting for the sort of digital photography should be to play around and become willing to experiment to see what works and just what doesn`t. Try with the white and black settings in lots of situations to completely master what really should be done less than different issues to effectively light a strike. .
  • Wigs Online

    <strong><a href="">wig</a></strong><strong><a href=""> lace front wigs</a></strong>???Do you would like to buy a good solid bike, then you could start to do ones shopping within an world wide web bicycle keep? The sheer ease of it to begin with is a great reason inside of it. <strong><a href=""> full lace wigs</a></strong>All you should do is sit pictures computer and peruse around around the many options you need to buy who special bike of one's dreams within the comfort together with privacy of your personal home. It will be easy to see additional bikes that way compared to be able to shopping with the usual common way. <strong><a href="">Lace Wigs</a></strong>Think of times you helps you to save. <strong><a href=""> Hair Wigs</a></strong>No driving a motor vehicle around to make sure you different locations only to search for the same thing in every retailer. <br />
    <br />
    By shopping in a internet cycling store you'll see all various kinds of bikes which includes road motorcycles, mountain bikes and many more with each of the stats now facing you. <strong><a href="">Full Lace Wig</a></strong>You can see that the costs will often be cheaper when compared to when buying in cycle shops. You will additionally have a bicycle sent to your door to your convenience. <strong><a href=""> Wholesale Lace Front Wigs</a></strong>Sometimes this can already be within the price. <strong><a href=""> Lace Wig Glue</a></strong><br />
    <br />
    Shopping online results in that you have the right of numerous great revenues to benefit from. Who into their right your head wouldn't wish to shop similar to this? Think from the savings. <strong><a href=""> Human Hair Wig</a></strong>I are able to guarantee that you will find lots regarding specials, route bikes, off-road bikes, tandem bikes, children's bikes and many others when shopping with this fashion. <strong><a href="">Full Lace Wig</a></strong><br />
    <br />
    In addition to the convenience and also the great deals, think on the variety you will be able to select from. It does not matter what your financial budget is as you will have something for the whole family. Why not take the time to have a search the web right now to determine for your self what exists waiting to get snapped up for any bargain charge. .