Advertising festival names Steve Ballmer “Media Person of the Year”

canneslions_19042c3f News The 56th annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival has named Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, as Media Person of the Year.  The annual award will be presented to Ballmer, who will speak at the event in a Microsoft Advertising seminar,  at the Festival in Cannes, France this June.

In accepting the award, Ballmer said:

“I’m honoured to accept this prestigious award on behalf of all the people at Microsoft who are working to redefine media and advertising in the digital era. This is a time of sweeping innovation and transformation in advertising and publishing, and there are incredible opportunities to use technology to deliver more value to both advertisers and consumers. We look forward to working closely with our media and advertising partners to continue to push the boundaries of what is possible”.

Microsoft has been causing quite a stir in the advertising world recently, not only with its continuing focus on competing with Google and changing the nature of internet advertising, but also with a series of ads created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky (Alex Bogusky is one of the speakers at Cannes Lions, coincidently). The most recent ad features laptop shopper Lauren, who’s just not cool enough for a Mac:

[youtube_video]621NMj9_SR4[/youtube_video]

The advertising world seems to be pulling for Microsoft to get better at search, to compete with Google, and to improve their image.  Will a few ads and awards, or a name change for search be enough to begin to turn the tables?