MSN’s ‘Glo’ Site: Eye Candy for Women, and Brands

A new Web site from MSN, Berman Braun, and Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. aims to deliver a sleek, graphically rich experience to women interested in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle content.

The site, called Glo and hosted at, will compete with other online media brands geared toward women, such as Glam Media and Yahoo’s Shine. It will build on Microsoft’s in-house properties reaching women, like gossip and entertainment site Wonderwall and foodie site Delish.

Three sponsors are associated with the launch: Vaseline, J.C. Penney, and Fox TV series Glee. With their sponsorships, these brands will enjoy prominent placement in the slide shows that make up most of Glo’s content. In a format slated to go live in the next several weeks, every fourth slide in these photo displays will consist of a large interstitial sponsor ad.

Microsoft VP of U.S. Advertising Sales, Robin Domeniconi, said MSN will steer clear of remnant or ad network sales on Glo. “It’s all direct sales,” she said. Additional display ads spotted on Glo yesterday advertised for T-Mobile and the New York State Lottery, as well as Windows Mobile – apparently a house ad.

In keeping with a recent MSN redesign emphasizing Bing, Glo contains numerous promotional links to Microsoft’s search engine. For instance, a vivid blue banner on the site proclaims, “A fairly passionate kiss burns an average of 9 calories,” and then invites users to click “Bing even more: breath fresheners.” Also, a tight integration with Bing Shopping will appear in Glo’s product-focused content.

The site’s debut marks the second launch for Microsoft since it struck up a content relationship with BermanBraun, an entertainment production firm launched in 2007 by Gail Berman and Lloyd Braun. Their first, Wonderwall, is a celebrity-driven entertainment site with a heavy emphasis on images. Glo follows the same template, including large and numerous images that are grouped in slideshows.

Domeniconi noted that creative production for Glo’s editorial and advertising content are produced by a single team at BermanBraun, resulting in a continuous look and feel between the two.

In addition to editorial content from Hachette Filipacchi titles like Elle and Elle Decor, Glo features articles and features from other partners such as Time Inc.’s Real Simple, Sugar, and Remodelista.

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