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Microsoft Taps Madonna's 'Ray Of Light' For Ad Campaign

Multibillionaire Bill Gates is using Madonna’s “Ray of Light” in an ad campaign for Microsoft’s latest computer operating system, Windows XP. The company started airing the ads on Monday (October 15).

The 60-second spot begins with a man running through a green field and then taking off into a cloudy, blue sky. The ad pairs the song’s lyric “Faster than the speeding light, she’s flying” with the words “You soar” and “Yes you can” in bright white letters.

“The product is all about empowerment, and we wanted a song that really brought that spirit to life,” said Michael McLaren, a vice president at San Francisco marketing company McCann-Erickson. “It’s a very positive track that speaks to the human potential.”

McLaren said marketing reps looked at a range of musical components for the spots but that “Ray of Light” was “clearly superior.” “Ray of Light” won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording in 1999, while the album of the same name won for Best Pop Album.

Ad execs had kicked around the slogan “Prepare to fly” for the campaign but felt the idea was inappropriate in light of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

When Microsoft launched Windows 95, it used the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up” in its campaign.

 
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