Close-Up: Client of the week - IT client creates animal magic/Microsoft’s Neil Thompson is planning to reinvigorate the brand

For anyone who has wondered what Bill Gates is really like, it will probably come as no surprise to hear him described as ’a normal sort of guy, but with a brain the size of a planet’. So says Neil Thompson, relationship marketing group manager for Microsoft, and speaking to him you get the impression he’s not short of the old grey matter himself. With Microsoft’s communications under his charge, he intends to spearhead the IT brand into a new creative era.

For anyone who has wondered what Bill Gates is really like, it will

probably come as no surprise to hear him described as ’a normal sort of

guy, but with a brain the size of a planet’. So says Neil Thompson,

relationship marketing group manager for Microsoft, and speaking to him

you get the impression he’s not short of the old grey matter himself.

With Microsoft’s communications under his charge, he intends to

spearhead the IT brand into a new creative era.



The latest business-to-business print campaign, by Euro RSCG Wnek

Gosper, offers a taste of what is to come. It depicts human faces that

have been morphed into animal features with headlines such as ’Evolution

will make us wiser’. The work uses animal attributes to represent how

companies must evolve to survive.



As well as acknowledging that the technology market is moving at an

exponential rate, the campaign shows that Microsoft is taking a more

consumer-oriented approach to its brand, recognising that people are

increasingly making decisions on an emotional level. Thompson says: ’If

we’re going to create an emotional quality for the brand, we’ve got to

look and feel different.’



Through Microsoft’s campaigns, he wants to bring more depth to the brand

in a market sector that has been slow to recognise the change.

’Microsoft is now in lots of different markets and environments,’ he

says. ’We have to evolve and adapt ourselves across the vast array of

services.’



He is hoping this approach to advertising will help Microsoft standout

in the burgeoning IT market.



’Microsoft evokes opinion as a brand,’ he says. Thompson wants to use

advertising to capitalise on the company’s high awareness in order to

’make sure people are associating the brand with the right

attributes’.



Historically, Microsoft’s problem has been spending a lot of money,

which, by his own admission, has been too fragmented to be effective.

’We have to do a better job with the media we’re using.’ He adds: ’But

with media options expanding daily, we’ll be able to look at, and use,

an increasing amount of communications.’



The man from Microsoft, who joined the company four years ago from Stena

Line, clearly has grand plans. Yet he’s got no intention of losing the

MSN ’Where do you want to go today?’ strapline, ’because it typifies

what Microsoft is all about - endless possibilities’.



He believes he will have hit the jackpot in carving out a new

positioning when he gets ’a slightly surprised, but positive reaction’

to the advertising.



’I’m always looking for new, different ways to explore the brand,’ he

says. ’We push Euro RSCG hard for innovation because of the brand we

are.’ You get the impression Euro RSCG will be kept on its toes this

year.



Become a member of Campaign from just £46 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to campaignlive.co.uk plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now

Partner content

Share

1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).