2009 PRO Awards: Heroes Happen Here

Posted on by Chief Marketer Staff

Agency: OPTS Ideas
Client: Microsoft Corporation

After the 2008 upgrades of its server products — Windows Server, SQL Server and Visual Studio — had hit the street, Microsoft launched a campaign called Heroes Happen {Here} that spotlighted the users of the servers rather than the servers themselves.

Customers told stories on heroeshappenhere.com, as well as in videos, in a book of portraits and at events of how these products enabled them to create solutions that have a profound and positive impact on the world. In addition, a comic strip was drawn for 26 weeks that brought the real stories to life.

A nominating process chose 80 of the most compelling stories. Photographer Carolyn Jones and a film crew were dispatched worldwide to capture the stories for a commemorative book, which was used as a giveaway to event attendees. The film was also edited for executive keynotes. Meanwhile, the involvement of many people around the world increased buzz for the program.

A launch event was held in Los Angeles. Tom Brokaw opened the event by talking about real heroes — normal people who do extraordinary things by putting their lives and incomes at risk to make things happen that save lives and make the world a better place.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s keynote included magic through screen technology software, Musion. An invisible projection surface showed heroes in short video segments, along with the presenter, who walked off the screen and onto the stage live.

Overall, heroeshappenhere.com generated more than 12 million unique visitors. More than 5 million Microsoft product evaluations were conducted and 733,000 customers were trained during the launch period.

Return to the list of 2009 Pro Awards winners.

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