Crispin Porter + Bogusky has a track record of delivering creative that gets attention. However, the old adage is nothing kills a bad product faster than good advertising may be the beginning of the end for Microsoft.

Vista has been a flop from day one. It was supposed to be an improvement over Windows XP, yet, people are still buying PC’s with the old operating system. That should be the first indication that Microsoft is in trouble. No one would want to buy the last version of Apple’s OS X.

And here lies the true test: will Crispin Porter + Bogusky chuck all their Mac’s and do the work on PC’s running Vista to prove that the machine is capable? (boot camp, parallels etc. don’t count). David Ogilvy was a firm believer in never advertising anything you didn’t use personally. My guess is they won’t.

Here are the details from AdAge:

Crispin Wins Microsoft’s Consumer-Products Effort - Advertising Age - Agency News
Microsoft Corp. today handed MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter & Bogusky a major consumer assignment promoting its Windows products to break later this year.
Microsoft has chosen Crispin Porter & Bogusky as their creative partner for an upcoming consumer marketing campaign.

Spending on the account was undisclosed, but could be as high as $300 million or more, according to executives familiar with the assignment. Microsoft spent almost $1 billion on measured and unmeasured marketing in the U.S. alone for 2006, according to the most recent Advertising Age DataCenter analysis….

“After a thorough review of several creative and strategic advertising agencies, Microsoft has selected Crispin Porter & Bogusky as our creative partner for an upcoming consumer marketing campaign,” read a statement from Microsoft. “Crispin was chosen based on their strategic approach, the strength of their creative ideas and the passionate and diverse team of people at the agency.”…

Although details of the new assignment have not been spelled out, Rob Enderle, principal analyst, the Enderle Group, San Jose, Calif., said it comes at a time when Microsoft is about to release a fix for the poorly received Vista, a so-called Service Pack 1…

“Microsoft lacks marketing skills,” Mr. Enderle said. “They can bring creative on board, but if it is not directed, you wind up with creative junk,” he said. “It’s clear to me this is not just an agency problem.”

Bruised by Apple
Microsoft has a problem with the continued embarrassment caused by Apple’s “Mac vs. PC” ad campaign, Mr. Enderle said. “It is unprecedented in this industry — and most — where one company makes fun of a competitor for a long period of time successfully,” he said. The last time that happened was when carmaker Isuzu poked fun of Porsche. But never did Porsche’s quality come into question, only that Isuzu presented a better deal, he said.

“This one does far more damage. It does go in and disparage the Microsoft operating system pretty solidly,” he said.

When Apple launched the “Get a Mac” campaign by TBWA/Chiat Day we compared it to the Crispin Porter + Bogusky “Manthem” spot for Burger King: Is your agency ego in line with your budget?

This may be Crispin’s opportunity to prove they still have the ability to come up with a big idea that can carry through for a brand- that cuts through the clutter. The last memorable effort that worked was the “Let’s Motor” for BMW mini, a brand they abandoned when they took on VW. Microsoft may be the client that frees them from keeping VW, where their champion CMO left them and rumors of their dismissal have been circulated.

But, the first step is switch the shops to Vista on PC’s and see how much work they can do.