Microsoft’s big advertising push this fall extends beyond its Windows franchise. The company launched “the single largest marketing investment ever made in Xbox history” over the weekend.
The campaign comes after a significant price cut and in conjunction with new features of the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live online network (announced this summer and due out before Christmas) designed to appeal to a broader segment of casual gamers. It’s this new audience of players that Nintendo has so effectively tapped with its Wii, the runaway leader in the current-generation console market.
Some details on the new Xbox campaign, via a company spokeswoman:
Theme: “Live your Moment.”
Target: Casual and social segments.
Media: Television, outdoor, print, retail displays, digital, PR outreach, social networking and direct to consumer.
Spend: No specifics (yet) but Microsoft says its putting more money behind this campaign than for the original Xbox launch, the launch of Xbox 360 and the launch of ‘Halo 3.’
More on television: Spots began airing Sept. 19 on U.S. cable channels Discovery, F/X, TBS and VH1; on network premieres of “Heroes,” “Big Bang Theory” and “Dancing with the Stars.” Other shows targeted include “Biggest Loser,” “My Name is Earl” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”
Critical geography: Europe. As I reported this summer, Europe is a major battle ground for the current console generation. Microsoft is “focused on shifting brand perception and driving re-appraisal of the platform in a very competitive region with entrenched competition.”
I’ve asked for details on the budget for the campaign and the ad agency behind it. Recall that Microsoft enlisted Crispin Porter + Bogusky for its high-profile, $300 million Windows campaign. McCann Worldgroup has done past work for Microsoft’s games business. Update, 2:58 p.m.: McCann is the agency behind this Xbox campaign.