MSN and Microsoft (arguably all the same) are at it again today with the latest rollout of its “interactive Office 2007” advertisements on the MSN homepage. The third in the series – once in April, July and now August, features the website wrapped around a faux Office PowerPoint 2007 “Ribbon” interface for the “It’s a new day, It’s a new Office” campaign.
Personally I’ve been a big fan of these interactive Office advertisements as they’re non-intrusive at the same time extremely educational. Granted most of you who read this blog, or any blogs for that matter probably won’t be as impressed, but to the user who only knows the Office suite by the big blue “W” or green “X”, a product demonstration without requiring any installation or bible-thick manual can work extremely well.
And with over 465 million unique visitors per month on MSN, getting the word out about Office 2007 is a good thing.
A range of possible combinations of SmartArt style and colors
However I do have to admit this PowerPoint version is not as functional or “fun” as the previous Word version. You are only restricted to one tab, “SmartArt Design”, which only allows you to change the style and color of the SmartArt placeholder. Technically, there are 30 possible combinations. It would have been much cooler if they also enabled “Design” and allowed you to change the theme of the entire page.
I asked whether this was a sign to expect more of these interactive Office ads as part of a whole series. The Microsoft spokesperson replied,
Microsoft bases ad campaigns like this on feedback from users. We are always looking for fun, innovative ways to showcase new technology to our customers, and the live preview on MSN has been a popular function. We are always keeping our eyes open for interesting ways for people to experience our products, and we take customer feedback into consideration when deciding on how to further engage our customers.
With Word and PowerPoint out of the way, I can’t wait until the interactive Outlook ad.