Microsoft Press Advert

"50% of my advertising budget is wasted..."

When Microsoft decided to locate their European Operations Centre in Dublin, they knew they were going to need to recruit a lot of high calibre people. Microsoft already had a solid reputation as a great place to work, so naturally a lot of people wanted to be employed there. However, at this stage what they wanted were the brightest young engineers available. They wanted to talk to them and them alone - and these were hard people to find. The media plan suggested a heavy, full page national press campaign as a means of getting to them. Unfortunately, that would also get to everyone else.

The ads could have talked about what a great place Microsoft was to work, the salary plan, the prospects...

We had a better idea.

To be truly effective, the ads needed to talk to engineers in a language they (and probably only they) could understand. We developed a campaign that was based on visual signals that would of course be seen by everybody but could be decoded by this particularly clever lot. It worked beautifully. A kind of kudos developed amongst those who could decode it.

A friend of mine, a bank manager saw it and liked it, but asked:
"Eh, what does it mean?"

They weren't looking for bank managers...