Microsoft to Showcase New Tagline, Aspiring Actors in Golden Globes Ads


The technology giant's brand spots will reference the awards by pre-congratulating "the Golden Globe winners of the future."

NEW YORK -- The Golden Globes don't just provide a big stage for established and up-and-coming Hollywood stars.

During the awards telecast's commercial breaks, technology giant Microsoft will also run ads that will put the spotlight on the hopes and struggles of a handful of undiscovered actors and -- through their stories -- on its new brand tagline, "Be What's Next."

Microsoft has run ads during the Golden Globes show before. What is unique about this Sunday's two brand spots though is that they mark the first time that the new tagline will appear in national TV commercials and that the spots directly reference the context of the Globes.

Microsoft put out a casting call to undiscovered actors and asked them to talk about their struggles, aspirations and passion. The results are two 30-second spots, one for Bing and one for the Windows Phone, that show the aspiring talents discussing their real-life experiences and hopes. The themes of the spots are "decisions" and "commitment."

At the end, each spot shows one talent and the lines "You don't know them. But you will." A voiceover then says "Microsoft pre-congratulates the Golden Globe winners of the future" before the spots end with the new slogan, which the company picked last year to replace its previous tagline "Your Potential, Our Passion."

The message: Microsoft products can do great things, but it is up to people to make them happen.

The brand spots, which will be joined during the Globes commercial breaks by Microsoft product spots, come as the tech giant has been amping up its consumer marketing efforts with ads for the likes of the Kinect controller for the Xbox 360 video game console and Bing.

Microsoft has long particularly liked advertising during big live events like he Golden Globes to reach a broad, engaged audience, especially if it is as global as the awards show, said Gayle Troberman, chief creative officer at Microsoft.

"You have a lot of engaged viewers, because like in the case of the power of sports, people watch live," she explained. "We do a lot of work with the Hollywood community with product integrations and the like. But what's unique about these spots is that they are contextually relevant to what is happening on the show."

She added that the awards fit in well with the aspirational message. "All our products help you achieve what you want to achieve, which our tagline symbolizes," Troberman said. "And the Globes are about celebrating that big moment when people have achieved their goals -- whether for the first time or the 10th time."

Microsoft wouldn't disclose how much it is spending on spots during Globes telecast.

But Troberman said the company is interested in showing what its brand is about via real people and their stories during other big TV events in the future.

Will there be special Oscar or Grammy ads? "We are open to more contextually relevant opportunities," she would only say.

Ad shop Crispin Porter + Bogusky worked on the Microsoft spots.