Microsoft's $300 million 'consumer product blitz' inches closer

What kinds of products will Microsoft be pushing when it launches its new $200 million to $300 million consumer-product ad campaign in early 2008?

What kinds of products will Microsoft be pushing when it launches its new $200 million to $300 million consumer-product ad campaign in early 2008?

AdAge has reported that Microsoft has narrowed its search for an agency to handle creative for the forthcoming "consumer-products blitz" to two: MDC Partners' Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Publicis Groupe's Fallon.

No doubt, Xboxes and Zunes will be on the roster. Windows Home Server (which is currently plagued by a serious and still unresolved file-corruption bug) could be on the list, too. Windows Live services and Windows Vista could stand for some serious consumer advertising help.

Other likely candidates for Microsoft's consumer ad campaign? I'd bet the Surface tabletop technology -- which Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates will show off during his Consumer Electronics Show keynote in early January -- will be part of the campaign, as well. And next-generation Media Center extenders from several Microsoft partners are another likely component. Given that Microsoft is focusing on making Windows Mobile 6.1, due to be announced in early 2008, more appealing to smartphone consumers, I wouldn't be surprised to see Redmond up the volume for Windows Mobile phones as part of its new ad launch.

Microsoft has nowhere to go but up with any kind of consumer advertising campaign. However, to keep the company's newfound love for all things consumer in perspective, Microsoft execs said they planned to spend $500 million on the anti-IBM business-focused "People-Ready" campaign it launched in 2006.

Which consumer-focused products and technologies do you think the Redmondians should highlight in the new year?

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