Microsoft launches PR push for MSN

REDMOND, WA: In a move that deflected attention from the unveiling of the bug-laden Windows 2000, Microsoft launched a dollars 150 million ad campaign for its MSN online service on February 13. But while the expensive new TV spots captured headlines in the Los Angeles Times and Forbes.com, the PR component behind the MSN push has been in play since last August.

REDMOND, WA: In a move that deflected attention from the unveiling of the bug-laden Windows 2000, Microsoft launched a dollars 150 million ad campaign for its MSN online service on February 13. But while the expensive new TV spots captured headlines in the Los Angeles Times and Forbes.com, the PR component behind the MSN push has been in play since last August.

REDMOND, WA: In a move that deflected attention from the unveiling

of the bug-laden Windows 2000, Microsoft launched a dollars 150 million

ad campaign for its MSN online service on February 13. But while the

expensive new TV spots captured headlines in the Los Angeles Times and

Forbes.com, the PR component behind the MSN push has been in play since

last August.



According to Waggener Edstrom SVP Colleen Lachter, the agency began work

on the MSN initiative about six months ago. ’The entire marketing effort

surrounding MSN, including PR, is becoming more focused on generating

awareness and subscrib- ers,’ she explained.



While Microsoft seemed more than happy to trumpet the price tag of its

new ad blitz, no numbers were disclosed regarding the PR campaign.

However, it’s likely the initiative is hefty by PR standards - director

of marketing Yusuf Mehndi was quoted in the LA Times as saying Microsoft

would be ’spending hundreds of millions more beyond advertising to

capture customers.’



Though not stated outright, the MSN PR message is clearly aimed at

stealing members away from arch-rival America Online, which currently

has more than 10 times the number of registered users.



’The emphasis of the PR program is to build awareness of the integrated

services available and the value users get by starting their Internet

experience with MSN,’ Lachter said.



While on the upswing in recent months, MSN’s subscriber base still

hovers around 2 million.



Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Would you like to post a comment?

Please Sign in or register.