MSN Butterflies Swarm Broadcast Upfronts

  • by May 18, 2004
Microsoft Corp.'s colorful MSN butterfly brand icon has hit New York City, staking out the locations of the broadcast upfront presentations to give media strategists a bit of the online religion. The guerrilla marketing effort marks the second year in a row that MSN has made noise during TV media's most frenzied time.

People dressed in MSN butterfly garb are stationed at key locations, distributing handouts with key messages for media buyers and planners as they prepare to commit millions of marketer dollars to TV advertising. A copy line on one of the handouts reads: "Friendly reminder: Consumers view multiple screens. Don't spend it all in one place, an integrated marketing plan isn't integrated without advertising online."

So far, the butterflies have pelted the NBC and ABC upfront locations. Today they will appear outside of Carnegie Hall, where CBS is holding its upfront presentation. On Thursday, they are tentatively scheduled for the Fox upfront.

The butterflies have also distributed a handout referring to an advertising accountability study statistic that cites Nestle and Kraft, which both saw 7.5-10 percent lifts in offline sales and 5-7 percent increases in key brand metrics when online media was added to the media mix. Joanne Bradford, chief media revenue officer for MSN, has challenged marketers to allocate between 8 and 12 percent of their media dollars to online media.

The butterfly actions are "a friendly reminder that online [media] and MSN drive incremental sales, and that viewers are watching more than one screen during their day," says Eric Hadley, director of marketing, MSN. "Numerous studies have shown the people are cutting TV viewing time to spend more time online."

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