Investing in the Future: New MSN Program Fuels Advertising Innovation

REDMOND, Wash., June 18, 2004 — MSN®
aims to ignite innovation in advertising with a new program in the United States that teams some of the most creative minds in advertising with its own top talents and advanced technology to develop online advertising breakthroughs. The MSN Creative Connection Program gives print, broadcast and outdoor advertising pioneers free rein to push the boundaries of online marketing on some of the most coveted advertising space on the Internet.

Award-winning creative directors Alex Bogusky of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Kathy Delaney of Deutsch Inc., and Ty Montague & Todd Waterbury of Wieden+Kennedy New York, along with others at their agencies, will bring their brand-building talents to the latest MSN effort to enhance the creative cachet of online advertising.

“Of all the media options available to marketers today, online offers the richest palette of options for reaching consumers — sight, sound, motion and interactivity — along with the high-end demographic advertisers covet, but it is not being used to its greatest potential,” said Eric Hadley, director of marketing at MSN. “The Creative Connection Program offers the leading creative directors and marketing experts the creative freedom, along with the paint, canvas, and technical support necessary, to take the medium to an entirely new level of brand storytelling.”

New Program Demonstrates the MSN Commitment to Creative Agencies, Advertisers

Each of the creative directors and agencies taking part in the Creative Connection Program will develop fully integrated advertising campaigns for the client of their choice, with a powerful online component utilizing the resources and talent offered by the MSN creative Custom Solutions team, which has received applause for such unique campaigns as the Volvo Digital Garage at .

The campaigns will begin appearing this fall with online ads placed across the MSN network and in premium advertising space including MSN Video, and possible new areas specific to the advertisers’ needs. MSN will take it to the road on a multiple-city media tour to credit the featured clients and provide a sneak peek at the newly created campaigns before their debut on MSN.

To spur cutting-edge approaches to brand-building, MSN partnered with creative directors and agencies known for doing some of the best and most innovative integrated advertising work. The accomplishments of the creative directors and agencies taking part include the following:

  • Alex Bogusky is an executive creative director at Miami-based Crispin Porter + Bogusky. CP+B’s clients include the “truth” anti-tobacco campaign, BMW MINI, Burger King, IKEA, Virgin Atlantic Airways and Molson. CP+B was responsible for the recent Burger King Subservient Chicken campaign, a viral effort that attracted more than 1 million hits on its first day alone. In an unprecedented sweep during the 2003–2004 awards show season, CP+B won the Grand Prix at Cannes, an O’Toole award for overall creative excellence from the American Association of Advertising Agencies, as well as the grand prizes at the CLIOS, EFFIES, Kelly’s, OBIES, APG awards and the One Show.

  • Kathy Delaney , managing partner and executive creative director for Deutsch NY and 2003 inductee into the American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame, has guided Deutsch’s creative team in creating award-winning work on behalf of clients including Snapple, Monster, Revlon, and Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol.

  • Ty Montague & Todd Waterbury , co-creative directors for Wieden+Kennedy New York, whose revolutionary integrated campaign for ESPN NFL Football by Sega has swept the 2004 award shows. Montague oversees all creative work at the shop, including Nike, ESPN, Brand Jordan, U.S. Trust, Sega Sports, Sharp Electronics and Avon.

“The days of traditional advertising on traditional media alone are over,” Bogusky said. “The MSN program allows us to explore new ways to reach consumers, to really push the boundaries with online advertising in ways we might not have been able to do without support from MSN.”

“Creating a new brand story platform is incredibly exciting, and the time is completely right for it. Our connection with MSN allows us to do it without any handcuffs,” Delaney said.

“We feel like kids let loose in a candy shop,” Montague said. “This program has given us the chance to try some truly groundbreaking ideas and approaches without restraints of dipping too far into our clients’ advertising budgets.”

New MSN Programs Are Proof of Mission to Elevate Online Advertising

The Creative Connection Program follows the March announcement of findings from the Advertising Accountability research study, sponsored by MSN, that demonstrates online advertising is a critical part of the media mix. Developed by the research firm Marketing Evolution, the study determined that online advertising lifted sales for targeted consumer packaged goods by 7 percent to 12.5 percent and outperformed other types of media by as much as 30 percent.

“The Creative Connection Program, coupled with the Advertising Accountability study, will help advertisers answer some of their most pertinent questions: How effective is online versus other media? What is the ideal media mix? And how can I do amazing creative that stands out?” Hadley said. “We expect this effort to open the industry’s eyes to the immense creative and powerful branding opportunities with online advertising.”

About MSN

MSN attracts more than 350 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 38 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and ad sales 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 Microsoft

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