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Microsoft Announces AdCenter And MSN Originals

At the seventh annual MSN Strategic Account Summit, Steve Ballmer took the wraps off Microsoft AdCenter, the new advertising platform for Microsoft’s many popular websites. Formerly in limited beta as MSN AdCenter, it will now serve 100% of Microsoft’s web properties, mostly MSN and Windows Live.

AdCenter is built around the idea of targeting demographic groups based on MSN’s user data, rather than targeting just keywords.

Microsoft adCenter is designed to ultimately provide advertisers with a one-stop-shop experience, whether buying search, contextual or display ads across a number of Microsoft properties. Ballmer will emphasize the importance to advertisers of accessing powerful tools and audience intelligence in an easy-to-use, accessible way, and that Microsoft’s network of online sites and services will deliver to advertisers a range of audiences with very different demographics that advertisers will be able to reach in one consistent way. Contextual advertising testing begins on MSN in the U.S. market this summer. In addition, the following Microsoft properties are preparing to launch ads in the near future: Windows Live Mail, Windows Live Spaces, Windows Live Safety Center, Windows Live for Mobile, Office Live and Office Online, and the Xbox® Web site

Andy Beal explains that Microsoft likely dropped the MSN name from AdCenter to position it as a seperate brand that serves a large content network. AdCenter, especially when it releases a contextual ad network, will be the real Google competitor, although it will rely on a large amount of traffic to MSN (the content site) and Windows Live (the web application site), and continued success of Xbox Live and other properties.

Microsoft also unveiled MSN Originals, a partnership to create rich viral marketing to be used throughout the MSN network. According to Business 2.0, it will include short-form shows, including one starring Tom Arnold. Microsoft has tried, and failed, at creating original content, and their experience with viral marketing has been a mixed bag of huge success at the small level (viral Xbox campaigns) and huge failure at a larger level (most MSN Search marketing, as well as:)

In 1996 and 1997 the company poured about a $100 million into shows like “475 Madison” (a dark comedy about a New York advertising agency) and “Project: Watchfire” (a serious look at U.F.O.’s) and mini-sites like Mungo Park (an outdoor adventure project) and the movie-obsessed Cinemania.

That last part is from The New York Times.
(via ThreadWatch)

May 5th, 2006 Posted by | General, Live, MSN, Search, Windows | no comments

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