Microsoft Advertising, Baidu Partnership Reaches Gen Z With AI Experiences

Microsoft Advertising has announced an unlikely partnership with Baidu Global, the international artificial intelligence (AI) business sector under China’s Baidu brand.

Baidu Global will use Microsoft Advertising’s Chat Ads API to serve relevant and engaging sponsored content recommendations to users of the Chat AI feature on its mobile keyboard, Baidu Global Keyboard.

Gen Z, which often uses the Baidu Global Keyboard app, clearly has become a reason for this partnership that will enable Microsoft Advertising advertisers to reach and target new demographics -- particularly in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Australia.

The partnership is expected to roll out this year with a complete launch in early 2024.

This is an extension of a partnership created years ago. In 2015, Microsoft announced a partnership with Baidu in China. The program, called Windows 10 Express, is intended to make it easier for users in China to upgrade and download Microsoft’s official operating system.



Baidu has made major strides in natural language processing (NLP), and Baidu Global Keyboard incorporate a variety of generative AI (GAI) features.

Microsoft used this example in its post. Baidu Global Keyboard can turn users’ images and photos into AI-generated stickers for use across messaging platforms. The Chat AI feature is used to message and transform the tone and delivery of their messages.

The Baidu Global Keyboard has custom features that vary depending on the app environment — whether a user browses the web or on social media. They may be looking for caption suggestions for an Instagram post or shopping.

Giving advertisers the ability to reach users in a variety of scenarios on different app platforms based on location as well as topic search interest can result in highly tailored targeting.

The feature is available through the ad groups setting. Microsoft also suggests, given the mobile opportunity with this partnership, ensure marketers have positive mobile bid modifiers to maximize campaign outcomes.

Baidu has been working on GAI for years. In September, Baidu debuted QingGe, a marketing platform based on artificial intelligence (AI) that the company says improves ad conversion rates by 20% through automation and prompts developed through natural language.

QingGe has the ability to customize marketing assets and optimize ad targeting strategy through AI. The company is following the lead of its home country, China.

China has a clear vision for AI to become a global leader. China will play a major role that shape international rules. Earlier this year, China's State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) issued new measures for the Administration of Internet Advertising that will take effect on May 1, 2023. The measures replaced the Interim Measures for the Administration of Internet Advertising previously issued in 2016.

The PRC Advertising Law's identifiability requires that people must be able to identify online advertising. To ensure that consumers must distinguish paid web-rank advertising apart from organic search results, for instance, an indication like "advertisement" must be put in a conspicuous area, similar to what is done in the United States on Google Search or Bing Search, as well as sponsored advertisements across the web and on publisher sites.

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