Barely one week after Microsoft released Windows 8, its latest operating system, the company announced that a group of 30 brands have already signed deals to launch new Windows 8 Ads in Apps campaigns. With a diverse group of brands ranging from automakers to entertainment, finance, consumer-packaged goods, and technology, Microsoft is pushing advertisers to reimagine their approach to connected advertising experiences across multiple screens.
Frank Holland, corporate VP of advertising and online at Microsoft Advertising, noted that 20th Century Fox and Nissan will run the first global campaigns. The studio is featuring its upcoming "Life of Pi" film in the Xbox Video app, SmartGlass app, and Casual Games app. Meanwhile, Nissan is the first brand slated to advertise in Bing apps and Xbox apps in all of the eight markets where Windows 8 Ads in Apps is launching, Holland added.
"Windows 8 Ads in Apps are designed to be the next wave of display advertising innovation and will offer quality advertising experiences at a scale that we believe will be unmatched in the industry," Holland wrote in response to questions. "The experiences are built with a modern design and with the consumer in mind. Should consumers choose to engage with the marketing message they are seeing, they will be able to take full advantage of the ad (sight, sound, touch)."
Initially, advertisers can choose from four packages, including buys on Bing apps, Xbox apps, Skype, and games, he added. For brands looking to advertise outside of Microsoft's apps, Holland encourages third parties to use the company's advertising SDK to build ads in their apps. Microsoft's current publishing partners for Windows 8 Ads in Apps include AlloCine, The Associated Press, BBC Worldwide, Bonnier, Deutsche Telekom, ilMeteo.it, MTV, MusiXmatch, News Republic, Photobucket, The Register, Slacker Radio, The Tribune Company, Vocento, and others.
Windows 8 Ads in Apps are available in two primary formats - tap to full-screen image and tap to full-screen video. Standard ads can include text, images, or both in-banner video, tap to full-screen video, or full-screen image. Premium ads include the same features but they can also be loaded into Microsoft's Hotspot, Ad Carousel, and 3D Rotator products. Advertisers can also take advantage of a panorama layout that enables consumers to interact with the ad outside the app.
Microsoft continues to work with outside agencies, brands, and publishers to develop concepts for Windows 8 Ads in Apps experiences, noted Holland. "We feel that a collaborative approach to Windows 8 Ads in Apps will ultimately provide the best consumer ad experience. By leveraging the actual agencies that will utilize ads in apps, we have been able to better guide the direction of the platform and elevate the creativity and engagement level to meet both consumers and marketers' needs," he added.
Microsoft also plans to leverage its new Solution Studio for the Windows 8 Ads in Apps effort, but Holland declined to provide further details at this time.
For now, Microsoft has its sights set on delivering "advertising experiences that are beautiful, relevant and useful to consumers, and that unlock value for our advertising and publishing partners," noted Holland.
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Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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