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Opts Ideas Wins 2009 PRO Award for Microsoft Enterprise Software Launch: 'Heroes Happen Here'

CHICAGO, -- Opts Ideas took home top honors for its creative work with Microsoft's 2008 Worldwide Enterprise Software Launch. The award for Best Business-to-Business Campaign was presented to the Opts team at the 2009 PRO Awards ceremony, held this year at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago on October 8, 2009. The annual PRO Awards honor superior achievement in promotion marketing.

Opts Ideas emerged as the winner from a prestigious group of creative agency finalists that included Arnold Worldwide for its work with Volvo Cars of North America; Civic Entertainment Group for CNN; and JWT - Team Detroit working with the Ford Motor Company.

The creative work by Opts Ideas was developed for Microsoft's February 2008 worldwide launch of its next generation infrastructure and application platform: Windows Server 2008, Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008, in an event the software giant called its largest enterprise launch in the company's history. Overall, the campaign generated more than 12 million unique visitors to the website, more than 5 million Microsoft product evaluations were conducted and more than 725,000 customers were trained during the launch period. A complete multimedia recap of Heroes Happen Here campaign can be viewed at www.optsideas.com.

The path to the award began many months before the launch, when the Opts Ideas team developed their strategy: rather than take the traditional approach of focusing on the features and benefits of the technology, they would turn the spotlight on the customer. "We wanted to tell Microsoft's story from the perspective of their customers, the people who use the technology to impact the world on a very real level," explains Michael Christman, founder and president of Opts Ideas.

The result was the integrated global campaign: Heroes Happen {Here}, a multi-tiered, multimedia effort designed to celebrate the stories of unsung heroes among software developers and IT professionals. "In today's world, we simply couldn't manage without the people who work in information technology," says Christman. "Trains wouldn't run on time; the power wouldn't stay on. Life as we know it would stop."

The massive effort culminated in the launch event at Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, where journalist Tom Brokaw riveted the crowd with his stories about how technology had changed the world in his lifetime. "The launch resonated with people on every level," Christman reports. "From the individuals who provided their stories, through the entire corporate structure at Microsoft - it was compelling, timely, and authentic."

Bob Visse at Microsoft says it best: "The only way you know great creative is when it makes you a little uncomfortable. The Opts team always push us to be great."

This is the third PRO Award for Opts Ideas. In 2003 Opts won for Best Overall Event as well as Best Idea or Concept.


For over 25 years, Opts Ideas has combined powerful creative thinking with scrupulous production values and state-of-the-art technology to deliver captivating events and promotions for audiences around the world. Led by Michael Christman, with partners Lisa Holland and Chris Fitzgerald, Opts Ideas has developed a world-class client list that includes Microsoft, Facebook, LPL Financial, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, AOL/Time Warner, Apple Computer and MIT. Opts Ideas has offices in New York, Boise, and the SF Bay Area.

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