Microsoft Rolls Out New Ad Formats

Along with Windows 8.1, Microsoft is debuting several new ad formats, including in-banner video. With the latest version of Microsoft’s reimagined operating system, advertisers will finally be able to incorporate video into their ads.
“What consumers will specifically see is a :15 video within several standard IAB ad units,” Greg Nelson, general manager of display advertising for Microsoft’s Online Services Division, explained in a Friday blog post. “Consumers can then choose to turn on the sound, play it in Full Screen, or go directly to the advertiser’s Web site to learn more about the product offering,” he added.
Incorporating the touch capabilities of Windows 8.1, another new format encourages users to “trace” identified elements within an ad’s creative in order to unlock additional features.  For example, users could be asked to trace the McDonald’s golden arches, for example, in order to open a coupon for a free burger.
In preliminary consumer testing, Nelson said this level of interactivity resulted in a "favorable association" with the brand.
With Windows 8.1 -- which critics are calling a solid improvement on the glitch-ridden Windows 8 -- Microsoft is also allowing advertisers to layer engagement elements within its full-screen video product.
With the addition of Video Ad Controls, so-called, ad partners can now include photo galleries, rotator features, polling, a Bing location finder, and direct links to Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter brand pages. A new Animated Anchors feature enables advertisers to add subtle animations on their ads within their Windows 8.1 apps before consumers click on the ad.
“These animations help advertisers more effectively capture the attention … consumers, and should lead to added clicks and better engagement overall,” Nelson said.
Also, as part of the broader Windows 8.1 rollout, Microsoft has introduced AIA Web Extension technology, which it expects will help the creative community extend what they have created for Windows 8 AIA to common IAB web display formats.
Microsoft worked with several ad agencies -- including Razorfish, Team Detroit, This is Tommy, Universal McCann and Sapient -- to bake touch into Windows 8 on Surface tablets.
4 comments about "Microsoft Rolls Out New Ad Formats".
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  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, October 21, 2013 at 9:20 a.m.

    More clutter, more noise -- a virtually idiotic solution by any measure.

  2. Chris Severs from Postmedia, October 21, 2013 at 10:47 a.m.

    Postmedia has been doing in-ad unit video for three years. No news here...

  3. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, October 21, 2013 at 10:55 a.m.

    @Chris, good news travels fast!

  4. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, October 21, 2013 at 4:50 p.m.

    @Mike - Agreed. And what does ad clutter do? Train consumers to ignore advertising at higher rates. Another brilliant Windows 8 value delivered direct to your business.

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