WebTV Networks Announces Innovative Advertising Product That Integrates Online Banners, Television Commercials and Web Sites

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Dec. 14, 1998 — WebTV Networks, Inc., the company that pioneered the convergence of the Internet and television, today announced the launch of Click-To-Video ads, a revolutionary advertising product that allows advertisers to leverage both television and online media, and provides consumers with an entertaining new advertising experience. This latest offering is part of a suite of promotional products available to advertisers from the Microsoft® WebTV Network
that defines the next generation of advertising.

Click-To-Video ads allow subscribers to the WebTV Network- to select an advertiser’s banner ad and then view a full-screen, full-motion video TV commercial for the advertiser’s product before arriving at the advertiser’s Web site. The feature benefits advertisers by allowing them to seamlessly integrate their online and television campaigns and benefits audiences by providing them with entertainment while they access information they find relevant.

Click-To-Video ads are simple for advertisers to execute and are an instant experience for subscribers to the WebTV Network. Advertisers submit their existing banner ads and television commercials to WebTV Networks, where they are integrated into an advertising product that leverages the targeting capabilities of the Web, with the full-screen impact of television. Subscribers immediately view the television commercial after selecting the banner ad, with no waiting required to download the video.

“Click-To-Video ads are the latest example of how we’re bringing together the best of the Web and television to define the future of advertising,”
said Joe Poletto, vice president of advertising sales and strategic partnerships, WebTV Networks.
“Advertisers that are getting on board with this new opportunity to combine TV commercials with online banners and Web content are creating an engaging experience for consumers. At the same time, they benefit by reaching an audience inaccessible to them through any other medium – the audience is interactive, new to the online world, and shares the WebTV experience with families and friends in the comfort of their living rooms.”

WebTV Networks already has several advertisers using its Click-To-Video product, including E! Online, Carter-Wallace, Ford Motor Co., Hewlett-Packard Co, Maytag Corporation Inc., Ragu, Rebecca’s Garden, Ricola Ltd. and Volvo Cars of North America Inc.

“We enjoy working with WebTV Networks because they are leading the movement toward convergence in advertising and providing real interactive TV offerings today,”
said Gregory Galloway, head of interactive media for GiantStep, a leading digital solutions provider, whose clients include Oldsmobile, Pillsbury and the Maytag Corp. “The latest ad product, Click-To-Video ads, enables us to get a tremendous ‘bang for the buck’ by leveraging our TV and online campaign assets to provide an entertaining new advertising experience for consumers. We can take advantage of the categorical and geographic targeting capabilities offered by WebTV Networks while also achieving the impact of full-screen TV.”

“We hope to learn a lot about television viewers and their involvement with the Internet,”
said Jay Bobowicz, general manager of the Hearst New Media Center.
“The audience for the WebTV service is particularly appealing to us because they are engaged television viewers and active Internet users who access the Web for the information they want. Working with Click-To-Video ads, we have a unique opportunity to provide our viewers with a new level of information and entertainment. The WebTV Network is helping us gather important information about cross-media content, a frontier we’re certain is poised to explode.”

WebTV Networks currently offers a number of other advertising products that reach the subscribers to the WebTV service in uniquely effective ways. There are two types of banner ads: Topical Spots, which run within the Explore directory of the WebTV service, and Surf Spots, which appear between Web sites during a subscriber’s Internet surfing experience. WebTV Networks also offers Video Spots, which are broadcast-quality, full-screen 15- or 30-second spots that air while viewers connect to the WebTV service.

WebTV Networks, the company that pioneered the television Internet industry, now serves more than half a million subscribers – and more people are signing up every day. With its rich Web content and Internet access, the WebTV Network service allows users to customize their TV watching in hundreds of useful and fun ways.

WebTV Networks, Inc. operates the WebTV Network serviceand designs WebTV-based Internet Terminals and Receivers available from companies like Sony, Philips and Mitsubishi at consumer electronics stores nationwide. Costs start at $99 for the Internet Terminal and $199 for the Internet Receiver, and $19.95 or $24.95 per month respectively for the WebTV Network service. The WebTV Network service is available in the United States, Canada and Japan and has over 500,000 members. WebTV Networks, Inc., based in Mountain View, Calif., is a subsidiary of Microsoft Corp.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and

personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft and WebTV Network are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

Other product and company names herein may be trademarks of their respective owners.

The subscription fee for the WebTV Network is a flat monthly fee, depending on the type of service. The service is not available through a local call everywhere. Toll charges may apply. To check if you have local access, please call (800) GO-WEBTV (469-3288). WebTV-based systems, like other Internet devices, do not support all data formats.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages.

Related Posts