Microsoft is letting its Beta testers do the talking for the consumer launch of its Office 2010 suite of products.
"The power of Office is very much seeing what it can do," Gayle Troberman, chief creative officer of Microsoft tells Marketing Daily. "People show you what they can accomplish in a matter of seconds."
To inform consumers about the new product launch, Microsoft and agency JWT have created a series of Web videos showing actual Beta testers telling how the new Office 2010 helps them with home, school and small-business tasks. The videos talk about how these users want to "Make it great" (the theme of the campaign).
One woman says she uses Office 2010 to "juggle two jobs, one kid and a husband" by using multiple email accounts and merging family calendars in Outlook. In a second vignette, a girl speaks of using OneNote to create reports for school. In a third, a man talks about how he and his far-flung business partner can work together through Web apps, a new feature in Office 2010.
Those new features are an important part of the sales pitch for Office 2010, particularly as people integrate technological solutions into their daily lives, Troberman says. She points out that many of the new tools -- one-click video for PowerPoint presentations, merging Outlook calendars -- have practical purposes for individuals as well as corporations.
"Increasingly, we're seeing the PC as the connection point for families," she says. "We're seeing that as people become more comfortable with technology, they're using technology in new ways every day. We think our mission is to make incredible technology and incredible tools. That's really at the heart of this campaign."
In addition to the Web videos, Microsoft will reach consumers -- including parents, whom Troberman called a "big segment" of its target audience -- through print, out-of-home and other media partnerships.
Although they were created by a different agency for a different product, the Web videos have an intentionally similar feel to the advertising Microsoft has been using to tout Windows 7. That campaign shows people explaining how their ideas have been incorporated into the latest version of Windows' operating system.
"Where you see similarity, those are things that we think are core to Microsoft and the Microsoft brand," Troberman says. "One of the most powerful assets that we have is massively happy customers. Sometimes the best marketing we can do is when we have our customers talking about the product."