Microsoft Announces MSN enRiched Ad Program

REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 18, 1999 — Microsoft Corp. today announced an initiative designed to extend banner ad functionality by offering a new set of rich media ad solutions free for any customer to use. The MSN TM enRiched Ad Program delivers new ad products that expand the banner ad creative space, incorporate e-commerce into traditional ad banners, and make possible the transfer of existing television commercials to the Web. The MSN enRiched Ad solutions are scheduled to be available free to online advertisers on the Web at http://www.msnsales.com/ beginning Oct. 1, 1999.

Microsoft developed the enRiched Ad Program in response to extensive feedback from advertisers and advertising agencies seeking more depth and interactivity in traditional ad banners and faster turnaround times for rich media ads. Requiring only a three-day turnaround, MSN enRiched Ad solutions significantly reduce a process that typically takes from five days to three weeks.

“Today, the biggest complaints among online advertisers are that effective rich media ad programs are too technically challenging and take too much time to launch,”
said Jim Kinsella, general manager of MSN Sales and Marketing.
“The MSN enRiched Ad Program makes this process nearly effortless – just add graphics and your ad is ready go.”

Customers will be able to choose from a variety of solutions that greatly expand the versatility and functionality of traditional banner ads. The program will offer the following:

  • Expanding menu ads. These Dynamic HTML-based ads are designed to expand the creative space available to advertisers by incorporating buttons that activate text-based menus outside the space of a standard or midpage banner. Menu space can be used to display many types of lists, such as book titles, sales lists and product options. Each item in the list has its own hyperlink.

  • Sticky graphic and banner combination. This combination ad product has two parts: a standard GIF or JPEG banner, located in the normal ad space, and a second
    “sticky”
    banner, located in the top right-hand corner of the browser window. Users with larger monitor dimensions will see both a 468×60 pixel banner and a vertical sticky banner on the right side of the screen that stays in the same location as a user scrolls up or down, allowing advertisers to display a message beyond the normal banner ad space. This ad is designed to take advantage of the empty right-hand column sometimes left blank on Web pages. Users also have the option of not displaying the sticky graphic.

  • Streaming video link for television ads. For the cost of a standard banner, advertisers can incorporate their existing television commercial into a banner ad on the Web. Triggered by a mouse click, an advertiser’s Web-encoded television commercial will stream to a consumer’s browser. Combined with powerful targeting capabilities available on Web sites of services such as the MSN Hotmail TM Web-based e-mail service, this ad product can deliver a specific television commercial via the Web to a specific audience or geographic location.

  • Active information banner. This ad solution offers advertisers a quick-loading banner that delivers real-time information, using Dynamic HTML to display text-based information in a tickerlike format. Every time the banner is displayed, it pulls current content from an advertiser-controlled database, giving users the most up-to-date information formatted as brief messages.

  • Bookmark This! This banner ad product lets users bookmark an advertiser’s Web site or offer within a Web browser. Possible uses include links to special offers and coupons.

  • E-mail manager banner. This banner lets advertisers capture and manage new e-mail subscriptions from users within the space of the ad, while users get an easy, convenient way to subscribe for product, promotion or contest information via e-mail.

About MSN

MSN is the network of Internet services from Microsoft that helps people better organize the Web around what’s important to them. The network of MSN services, located on the Web at MSN.com ( http://MSN.com/ ), helps people easily stay in touch with friends and colleagues, make smart and secure purchasing decisions, and get more done. MSN offers award-winning e-mail functionality; personal communications services; wireless services information; customizable access to news; popular sites for travel, investing, automotive services, shopping and more; an online community; a Web search engine and directories; and top-rated Internet access.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) 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, MSN and Hotmail 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.

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.

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