Microsoft is looking for unusual opportunities for advertisers to use its platform. Case in point: The major soccer tournament takes place this year in Qatar. This year the worldwide event takes place in November, overlapping with the peak retail-buying season.
Many of this year's World Cup soccer games will take place during work hours, when consumers are on their PCs or desktop computers, giving advertisers the chance to gain the attention of sports fans.
A study Microsoft conducted with Forrester in the past two years shows that 62% of consumers do personal tasks like research or make purchases during work time, and 69% use a PC for work or personal tasks. And 45% watch sports on their PC.
Microsoft will also launch a series of sports-related experiences on Bing, MSN and other platforms.
To better understand the scale of opportunities around the FIFA’s tournaments, the last time these games aired on television it reached 3.5 billion viewers worldwide, and this year the event expects to reach 5 billion, according to the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA).
An in-market audience segment around the soccer tournament will launch to support the opportunity. The segment is called Qatar 2022 Football becomes available this week.
Microsoft Audience Network also is running an open beta of a Predictive Targeting feature in its ad platform that lets marketers expand the reach beyond a targeted audience without the need to identify the audience.
The feature does this by combining Microsoft Audience intelligence signals, as well as the creative content of the ads and landing pages.
The targeting is finer than in-market audiences, which buckets a group of users. Predictive Targeting matches consumers to the ads, and, in theory, aims to be more relevant based on the person’s actions. Marketers can use Predictive Targeting with all of Microsoft’s targeting solutions like re-marketing lists or as a standalone feature.
While Predictive Audiences is only available in Microsoft Advertising online, the beta is open in all markets and languages. Campaigns managed through Microsoft Advertising Editor do not have this option, yet.
Images are also on the minds of Microsoft Advertising developers. Humans can process visuals about 60,000 times faster than text, according to Microsoft. Multimedia ads, in another announcement, is now available in all markets running search and native ads.