MSN Clarifies Position on Branded Entertainment

REDMOND, Wash. — April 14, 2006 — On April 11, 2006, the online publication ClickZ incorrectly published an article stating that MSN was “backing away” and “de-emphasizing” its investment in branded entertainment. The article contains a number of inaccuracies, and MSN would like to clarify its position for its marketing and advertising partners.

“Our commitment to branded entertainment is stronger than ever and continues to grow,” said Rob Bennett, general manager of Entertainment and Video Services for MSN. “MSN has been a leader in building branded entertainment experiences for our advertising partners, and this year we will be increasing the size of our team and the number of solutions we can deliver. We have never indicated a shift in how MSN is approaching its branded entertainment strategy as was reported earlier this week. It is unfortunate that this publication chose to mischaracterize our conversation to publish a sensational story, and we want our valued customers to understand our commitment to them and to this important and growing space.”

Recent examples of branded entertainment experiences delivered by MSN include the following:

  • Warner Bros.

– The companies are in a partnership to offer MSN® Messenger solutions, including Movie Scout and Decisionator. Through Movie Scout, consumers can view new WB movie trailers and consumers can look up show times and theatres in their local area. Decisionator is an MSN Messenger game that enables two consumers to pick movies through a ranking system.

– With movie theme packs available through the WB campaign, consumers can download backdrops, pictures and other features from new movie releases to MSN Messenger.

  • Visa

– MSN powered the online component of Visa’s first re-branding efforts in 19 years: the “Life Takes Visa” campaign.

– The Web site exhibited short clips of everyday Visa consumer experiences and was prevalent during Visa’s 2006 Winter Games TV spots.

  • Sprite

– MSN and Sprite created The Wall, a virtual city for consumers branded through a graffiti design. The user-generated content allows consumer to express and share their creativity with others in the online world.

– The Wall artwork can be saved and used as screensavers, desktop images or an MSN Messenger background, and can be sent to friends virally. Sprite branding was evident throughout the site, but in nonintrusive ways.

About MSN and Windows Live

MSN attracts more than 465 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 42 markets and 21 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering compelling programmed content experiences to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. Windows Live™, a new set of personal Internet services and software, is designed to bring together in one place all the relationships, information and interests people care about most, with enhanced safety and security features across their PC, devices and the Web. MSN and Windows Live will be offered alongside each other as complementary services. Some Windows Live services entered an early beta phase on Nov. 1, 2005; these and future beta updates can be found at MSN is located on the Web at MSN worldwide sites are located at

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Microsoft, MSN and Windows Live 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.

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