Microsoft will begin running four new TV ads for Windows Phone 8 tonight, featuring celebrities Jessica Alba and Gwen Stefani and the live tiles interface in the new devices.
The main point of the 30-second spots posted on YouTube today is to "show how personal Windows Phone is, while showcasing the features that make it so different," a Microsoft spokeswoman said. "They bring to life the idea that Microsoft didn't make a phone for all of us, but for each of us."
Advertising agency CrispinPorter + Bogusky created the ads. Microsoft would not disclose the cost of the ads, but the spokeswoman said it is the "most significant advertising campaign we have done to date to build the Windows Phone brand."
Future versions of the ads will feature Andy Samberg and Cam Newton, with each celebrity instilling their own flavor. One of the two Alba ads shows her use of Kid's Corner, a Windows Phone 8 feature that helps parents control what their kids can access on the Windows Phone.
Microsoft appears to have used Windows Phone 8x by HTC phones for all the ads, passing over others by Nokia (such as the Lumia line) and other vendors.
The four ads depict the live tiles on each celebrity's phone, showing in some cases how the tiles flip to reflect a current email or message or can be customized to show popular apps for direct access from the home screen.
When Windows Phone 8 was launched on Oct. 29, a Youtube ad featuring the voice and HTC phone of CEO Steve Ballmer described ways his phone keeps him up-to-date with family and work colleagues through the use of live tiles.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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