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Expressing Brand Passion With Windows 7

Windows Theme Experience and Windows Personalization Gallery create new opportunities for brands' interaction with consumers.

Microsoft Developer

Microsoft Advertising has unveiled two new exclusive branding opportunities available on Windows 7.

Microsoft is enabling global marketers to utilize the desktop or Internet browsing experience exclusively for their brand, with Windows Theme Experience and Windows Personalization Gallery. The announcement was made at the Monaco Media Forum in Monte Carlo.

Both of these Windows 7 theme experiences are being tested by a handful of brands as part of a pilot program that runs until October 2010. The themes allow new consumer engagement opportunities across Microsoft's unique product portfolio and let consumers connect with their favorite brands outside of traditional online advertising. The themes are opt in for consumers, who have the choice to download the branded themes they are most passionate about.

The global advertisers already on board include Ducati, Infiniti, Porsche and Twentieth Century Fox. In addition to these global brands' themes, there are seven Microsoft themes: two for Xbox "Gears of War"; three for Zune: Characters, Elements and Zodiac; and Bing's Best and Lugares Coloridos.

Windows Theme Experience

Windows Theme Experience is a robust sponsorship opportunity that offers engagement beyond the desktop with a combination of elements including Internet Explorer 8 add-ons, Windows 7 and Windows Vista Web-connected gadgets, Windows 7 backgrounds and borders, and operating system audio elements making up the offer. In addition, brands will be able to maximize their presence on Microsoft properties worldwide, including MSN and Windows Live, and have the potential for inclusion in Windows Galleries and the new desktop gadgets and add-ons that will ultimately drive consumers to a sponsor's dedicated download page. These new themes are intended for a brand's most passionate fans and allow for a deeper engagement by letting consumers embed their favorite brand into their PC experience.

Windows Personalization Gallery

The Windows Personalization Gallery offers a desktop branding experience for users throughout the operation of their Windows 7-based PC including backgrounds, slide shows, borders and application audio elements.

"The new Windows Theme Experience and Windows Personalization Gallery in Windows 7 allow consumers to customize their technology to reflect the things in life they are most passionate about," said Darren Huston, corporate vice president of the Consumer & Online organization at Microsoft. "These are great examples of Microsoft innovation and technology coming together to enable top global brands to reach audiences in new and interesting ways."

"Microsoft is a key partner in our global advertising strategy; they constantly provide new ideas and opportunities which are tailored to our brand and exciting for our customers," said Jon Brancheau, director, Global Infiniti Marketing. "At Infiniti, our vehicles are a personal expression of the driver, much like computer personalization is an expression of its user. The Windows Personalization Gallery and Windows Theme Experience are unique offerings that will provide Infiniti with a new set of tools to integrate our brand elements into the lives of consumers everywhere."

"People connect emotionally with films and the stories they tell," said Bettina Sherick, vice president, Digital Marketing, Twentieth Century Fox International. "These are the same people who personalize their digital experience. We are thrilled to be able to bring our film properties to consumers and let them engage more deeply with the stories that move them."

"We pride ourselves on innovation and groundbreaking technology at Porsche, as well as customer service where we strive to listen to our clients," said Scott Baker, advertising manager for Porsche Cars of North America. "That's why we are excited to partner with Microsoft, a company known for constantly providing new ideas and opportunities for its customers. We know that to engage with consumers, you have to integrate with their lives. The Windows Personalization Gallery and Windows Theme Experience do exactly that."

"We pride ourselves on listening to our clients and developing the most innovative, accessible and relevant products based on their feedback," said John Nicol, general manager, Last Mile Innovation, Microsoft Consumer & Online. "Windows 7 is your PC simplified, and the personalization options are a unique and valuable experience for consumers. We know that traditionally 50 percent of PC installations are personalized.(1) For brands that are looking to engage on a deeper level with their consumers, personalization is one of the most effective and well-received methods of increasing brand awareness."

The Windows Theme Experiences and Windows Personalization Gallery are available globally. The various themes for download can be viewed at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=109286. Advertisers who are interested in the pilot should contact their local Microsoft Advertising sales representative.

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