MSN Announces First Global Consumer Marketing Campaign To Create the World’s No. 1 Internet Brand

REDMOND, Wash., Oct. 25, 2000 — The MSN® network of Internet services today announced the most aggressive worldwide marketing campaign since the Windows® 95 operating system launch. The campaign’s objective is to make the MSN network the No. 1 global Internet brand that will achieve the same kind of recognition as Windows and Microsoft® Office. The $150 million global advertising campaign highlights the ease of use and benefits of MSN’s rich Internet services and content and includes television ads that will run in North America, Europe and Asia. The first commercials are scheduled to begin airing Oct. 25, 2000.

The campaign aims to demonstrate to consumers how the Internet can easily become part of their lives. It is centered on the theme of MSN as a home — a place where consumers feel comfortable and in control. In addition, MSN helps users find what they’re looking for on the Internet so that their time on the Web can be productive.

“The campaign aims to showcase MSN as the place on the Web where the Internet and technology can become not only an indispensable tool but a natural part of consumers’ daily lives,”
said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president of marketing at Microsoft Corp.
“We believe the campaign will appeal to users of all skill levels and will position MSN as their home on the Web. It will inspire and enable them to get the Internet experience they are looking for.”

New and Enhanced Internet Services

MSN also made a series of technology announcements in its 33 markets that it is improving the services offered to consumers. Improvements to MSN Search will help consumers quickly find what they’re looking for the first time. The integration of a proprietary search engine and local human intelligence offers internationalized search services that deliver relevant local results. Significant enhancements have been made to communication services. Users of the MSN Hotmail® Web-based e-mail service can now see if a buddy is online and start an instant message session right from MSN Hotmail. More Web page templates and a better user interface have been added to MSN Custom Web Sites, making it even easier to create a community or to share photos online.

“We are delivering a more integrated, personal experience on the Web where consumers can find all the content and services they want in one place,”
Mehdi said.
“We’re also giving more control to consumers so they can customize what they want to see. And we’re focused on delivering simplicity and ease of use so consumers can get more out of their online experience. We want consumers to feel as comfortable on MSN as they are in their own home.”

In addition to allowing consumers to exchange instant messages, MSN Messenger Service provides more ways to contact friends and family. MSN Messenger Service was first to provide free* PC-to-phone calls in the United States. Consumers can also talk to their online buddies anywhere in the world using the PC-to-PC voice chat feature.

The Preferred Internet Destination for Consumers Worldwide

MSN continues to be the most popular Internet destination for users worldwide, with over 210 million unique users in September 2000. MSN is No. 1 in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland (source: Nielsen//NetRatings); Canada and Sweden (source: Media Metrix Inc.); and Mexico (source: NetValue). MSN is rated overall No. 1 in Europe (source: Nielsen//NetRatings). Of the 13 markets currently ranked by Internet audience measurement firms, MSN ranks No. 1 in seven of the 13.

MSN Messenger Service, the world’s second largest instant messaging product and No. 1 in the United Kingdom, was used to make more than 23 million phone calls in the last three months, totaling more than 116 million minutes of talk time. MSN Hotmail remains the world’s most popular free Internet e-mail service. MSN Search is the second most popular search service in the United States and the No. 1 search service in Australia and the United Kingdom.

About MSN

MSN gives consumers a new home on the Internet — a central place where they can get everything they need from the Web and make the most out of their time online. With more than 210 million visitors in September, the MSN integrated network of content and services is the most popular destination on the Internet. MSN is available in 33 markets and in 17 languages — a broader global presence than any other portal. MSN takes advantage of the Microsoft .NET platform to offer leading services, any time, any place and on any device, with the most integrated and personalized user experience for communications, search, shopping, personal finance and entertainment. Best-of-breed services include the MSN Hotmail Web-based e-mail service, the world’s largest e-mail system; MSN Messenger Service, one of the fastest growing instant messaging services on the Web; MSN Search, the second most popular online search service; MSN Mobile, the customizable wireless information service; the award-winning MSN MoneyCentral™
online personal finance guide; MSN eShop, the one-stop online shopping resource; and MSN Custom Web Sites, the easy way to share information on the Web. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

* Calls placed using Messenger Service 3.0 or 3.5 are free when made from a computer to a computer or when made from a computer to a telephone or mobile device in the 50 United States and District of Columbia. To place calls from a computer to a telephone or mobile device outside of the 50 United States and District of Columbia requires a prepaid Net2Phone account; all fees for such calls will be deducted from this account by Net2Phone. However, any standard phone charges and connect-time charges normally paid for the Internet access provider (ISP), telephone, cell phone or mobile device service will still apply when placing calls with Messenger. Certain country restrictions also apply; void where prohibited by law. Internet calls are regulated and blocked by law in certain countries. Requires a MSN, Passport or Hotmail account; multimedia computer; 28.8Kbps modem; sound card; speakers; microphone; and Internet access. Voice transmission services are made available to users of MSN Messenger Service 3.0 and 3.5 by Net2Phone. Subject to change without notice.

Microsoft, MSN, Windows, Hotmail and MoneyCentral are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the 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.

Related Posts

Q&A: MSN Extends Leadership in Europe

Judy Gibbons, vice president of MSN in Europe, Middle East and Africa, discusses the strategy behind MSN’s success in a complex European region and some of the services customers there can anticipate.

MSN — Make It Your Home

With the New MSN Explorer, Revamped Services and Strong Industry Relationships Consumers Can Create Their Home on the Web With MSN

The New MSN

In a conversation with PressPass, Microsoft group vice president Rick Belluzzo discusses MSN’s new software and integrated services that give users a more satisfying Web experience.