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Sarah UKFast | Account Manager

Microsoft to mend fences between web designers & developers

Microsoft is looking to mend historic rivalries between web designers and developers in a viral marketing campaign that sees a designer and developer duel it out.

The viral, called "harmony", was created and managed by MRM Worldwide. It spearheads the marketing activity for Microsoft's latest Expression Studio software.

The apparently anonymous viral clip centres on a duelling designer and developer within an agency, as they battle it out -- picking up on the well-known moans that the two groups have about each other.

The idea of the campaign is to demonstrate the collaborative potential for the Microsoft Expression Studio among web designers and developers. The software has, according to Microsoft, been designed to stimulate creative and technical cooperation through quick exchange of XAML code.

At the end of the clip, the viewer is given the option to click through to, where a landing page provides further information and links to watch the software in use.

Katy Hamilton, channel audience manager at Microsoft, said: "The viral demonstrates a dynamism and relevance to this highly select audience that simply cannot be matched by traditional marketing approaches.

"We believe the 'harmony' viral can play an important part in communicating the benefits of our software to this discerning and influential group of users in a new light."

Additionally, a new version of development tools, Microsoft Visual Studio, has been released to complement Expression Studio.

Thorsten Borgqvist, account director at MRM Worldwide UK, said: "Expression Studio is a great opportunity to further develop the viral and social media approach we first introduced for Microsoft in 2005.

"The viral expression builds the brand's character and originality and humour allow viewers to connect instantaneously to the product -- something that is often difficult to achieve in other media. This connectivity is crucial in the customer acquisition and retention process."

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