MSN Enriches Online Advertising

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 22, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today unveiled its strategy for increasing the amount and effectiveness of dynamic advertising on MSN®
, the most popular portal on the Web, by announcing alliances with Eyeblaster Inc. and Point•Roll Inc., two leading developers and distributors of rich media advertisements.

The new strategy enables advertisers to place rich media ads — ones with moving and expanding images, full-page overlays, interstitial windows or other features — across the 12 most popular channels on MSN, including CNBC on MSN Money, MSNBC and the MSN Carpoint®
online automotive service.

The new Eyeblaster and Point•Roll ads began appearing recently on MSN in the United States, and there are plans to deliver additional rich media ads to international markets in the future. Beginning today, advertisers can place ads developed by both vendors on the 12 most popular MSN channels. By working with these advertising vendors, MSN makes it easy for more than 200 advertising agencies that already use these vendors’ rich media formats to place ads on MSN and maintain consistent advertising across online networks.

“To be effective, advertising needs to catch the attention of consumers — and that’s just what the new rich media offerings from MSN do, using formats and vendors many advertisers trust and already use,”
said Joanne Bradford, vice president and chief media revenue officer for MSN.
“When combined with the consumer excitement of the new features of MSN 8, these new rich media services make MSN an unbeatable place to advertise.”

The new MSN strategy will differentiate MSN rich media services from those offered by other Web portals in the following ways:

  • Broad delivery. The 12 MSN channels on which rich media is available will provide advertisers with one of the broadest and most-targeted reaches available online.

  • International exposure. These rich media services will be available soon in many of the 34 international MSN markets, allowing advertisers to run dynamic ads almost anywhere in the world where MSN is available.

  • Faster launches. MSN has invested significant time pretesting and aligning the portal to accept various rich media formats, allowing advertisers to get new rich media ads launched on MSN in significantly less time than on other Web portals.

  • More control. Using proprietary technology, MSN will regulate the frequency of rich media ads from all its vendors, protecting consumers and advertisers by helping ensure ads don’t appear too frequently or simultaneously from different vendors.

The alliances announced today are the first MSN has had with third-party rich media vendors. In the past, MSN offered rich media ads developed internally at Microsoft and will continue to do so, especially as customized proprietary ad solutions.

“Placing rich media ads on MSN is extremely attractive now that MSN is working with the same rich media vendors we use,”
said James Fabin, Internet marketing manager at Hyundai Motor America.
“Not only is it simple to get the ads up and running, the ads will be seen by a massive potential audience. It’s hard to scoff at millions of unique users worldwide, especially when you want to get the maximum exposure for new car launches.”

Carat Interactive’s Lot21 Studios, one of the first interactive agencies to embrace the new MSN rich media solution, developed the creative for Hyundai Motor America. Hyundai enlisted Carat Interactive’s services earlier this year to drive qualified leads to as well as communicate the key features and benefits of the Hyundai line of autos to its target audience.

The most-requested ad vendor among MSN advertisers, Eyeblaster provides a simple and powerful online platform that will make it easy for advertisers and agencies to run three different rich media ad formats on MSN: floating ad (both small and medium-sized), full-page overlay, and
window ad. Ad formats can include a variety of attributes, such as interaction, reminders, data collection and ad replay.

Point•Roll specializes in rich media ads and page-based ads that increase the dimensions and value of standard ad sizes on MSN. Point•Roll ads are nonintrusive because they deliver additional advertiser content only upon a user-initiated mouseover. With Point•Roll technology, advertisers can put any Web-based content, such as mini Web sites, audio or Windows Media (TM) technology, flash animation, promotions, instant coupons, or data collection on top of MSN pages; each ad will expand from a standard ad size. Point•Roll ads give consumers more information and options for interactivity right on the page they are viewing.

The alliances similarly benefit advertising agencies, giving them the opportunity to put client ads before the large MSN audience with the same rich media formats and ads they use elsewhere on the Web.
“We are excited to see MSN adopting the rich media technology offered by some of the leading companies that we work with every day,”
said Rishad Tobaccowala, executive vice president of Starcom MediaVest Group.
“We believe the availability of these new media types — in combination with the large MSN customer base, advertising technologies and industry reputation — makes advertising on MSN an increasingly powerful option for our clients.”

In addition to those already noted, the MSN channels now capable of running rich media ads are the MSN HomeAdvisor® online home and real estate buying guide, MSN Entertainment, MSN WomenCentral and the Slate® online magazine. The MSN Hotmail®
Web-based e-mail service will begin running rich media ads later this fall. Those interested in previewing ads from both Eyeblaster and Point•Roll on MSN should visit .

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 300 million unique users worldwide per month. Available in 34 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and digital marketing solutions to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at . MSN worldwide sites are located at .

About Eyeblaster

Eyeblaster provides an online rich media platform that enables publishers, agencies and advertisers to create and manage multiple rich media ad formats, including floating ad, full-page overlay, interstitial window ad, expandable banner, wallpaper ad and commercial break. Eyeblaster Inc. is headquartered in New York, with offices in Los Angeles, Europe and the Pacific Rim and product development facilities in Israel. Learn more at .

About Point•Roll

Point•Roll ( ) is a leader in rich media mouseover advertising technology. The company’s complete suite of rich media ad platforms gives advertisers the opportunity to deliver multiple messages in a traditional ad unit. Current clients include the likes of Nissan, Microsoft, Universal Studios, Ford, Ralston Purina, Adidas, Colgate, Nike, GlaxoSmithKline, Schering-Plough and others. Millions of Point•Roll Ads are served everyday on numerous Web sites. Founded in April 2000, privately held Point•Roll is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pa. For additional information about the company visit their Web site or call them at (215) 330-1700 or e-mail them at [email protected] . To view other Point•Roll ads visit .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) 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.

Microsoft, MSN, Carpoint, Windows Media, HomeAdvisor, Slate and Hotmail 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 on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at .

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