From the Vault #2: Rolling Stones collab with Bill Gates for Windows 95 launch
If like myself, you grew up through the 90’s, chances are you would have had first hand experience with a particular computer operating system. One that became legend and according to many, including Forbes magazine “the most important operating system of all time”.
Windows 95 was, as I’m sure you guessed, released in 1995 and though hard to believe now, was groundbreaking. But perhaps more groundbreaking than it’s features was its massive marketing campaign which, at the time was completely unprecedented for computing. With the campaign coming in at a cost of over USD300 million and cameo appearances from ‘Friends’ stars Jennifer Aniston & Matthew Perry (you’re feeling old now aren’t you?), the synch was always going to be something pretty big.
Microsoft didn’t let us down, choosing the seminal Rolling Stones hit ‘Start Me Up’ to accompany their television campaign. However this wasn’t simply a matter of blindly choosing a big hit, the song tied in perfectly with the product. Windows 95 was the first OS to include the ‘Start’ function that we now take for granted. This particular function was the core feature of the campaign and was heralded in perfectly by the synch. As soon as those first gritty chords kick in, accompanied by Mick Jagger’s swaggering confidence, the music grabs the viewer’s attention immediately and conveys the sense of endless possibilities that Microsoft wanted their product to instill.