Microsoft uses humor online in newest campaign

REDMOND, WA: Waggener Edstrom has launched an unusual online campaign for Microsoft Office 2007 that uses humor to persuade people to upgrade to the new software package.

REDMOND, WA: Waggener Edstrom has launched an unusual online campaign for Microsoft Office 2007 that uses humor to persuade people to upgrade to the new software package.

The WagEd campaign includes a personality quiz and comic strip, two PR initiatives that are out of the ordinary for Microsoft. The PR agency disseminated the comic to various business media and virally online.  WagEd's media outreach with influential bloggers and trade press was followed by a campaign to leverage social networks, the agency said.

OntheOfficecouch.com is a humorous Internet quiz aimed to engage people in matching their personality to a program of Office 2007.

"Which application of Microsoft Office are you?" the quiz asked, including questions such as: "What office supply could you not leave home without: A) pencils, B) calculator, C) laser pointer, D) PDA."

A score at the end shows outgoing, party-planner types will find they are Outlook, and the more pragmatic, number crunchers are Excel, for example.

The comic, residing at EnchantedOffice.com, follows a CEO named Madeline who dreams she is princess lost in a forest of non-productivity until she upgrades to the new software.

Chris Schneider, Microsoft senior marketing manager at Microsoft, said the campaign's purpose is dispel the notion that whatever older version of Office people use is adequate.

"We wanted to combat the perception of ‘good enough,' and one way to combat that is to engage our consumers in a creative way," Schneider said.

Some new features in Office 2007 include an RSS feeder in Outlook; keyboard shortcuts and SmartArt.

"There is so much new to the product, we wanted to make them aware," Schneider added.

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