MS Looks to Ad Creativity with Internal Corp Merger

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft is associated with some of the biggest names in technology including Windows, Internet Explorer, Bing and Xbox.

When it comes to their advertising department, however, far too many clients are associating Microsoft exclusively with the MSN portal. The correlation is said to occur so frequently, that it has become cause for major organizational changes to their advertising department, in an effort to highlight other marketing and media potential.

Carolyn Everson, Microsoft's global ad sales leader, believes that positive changes will come with an investment in advertising creativity. As Everson states, too many clients "refer to [Microsoft] as the MSN sales team. We've got to do a lot of work on what our story is. We can't just be doubling down on technology and exchanges. We have to be about magic." (Source:

Everson is not alone in her proposed changes. Creativity is one of the six universal concerns proposed by nearly 200 global clients she has visited since assuming her new role with the company six months ago.

Internal Corporate Merger

In addition to combining two of their major corporate divisions, Global Agencies (which focuses on top ad agencies) and Global Accounts (which focuses on top clients), Microsoft has also built brand-friendly MSN ad units, which are currently under review by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

The new ad units include placements called "Calypso Marquee" and "Interactive Filmstrip". Calypso Marquee can be utilized on multiple screens and reduces the need for creative re-sizing. Interactive Filmstrip is designed to change the creative focus of the company from branding to direct response, depending on the environment of the site in which its ads appear. (Source:

MS Promotes Vast Research Department

Microsoft also plans to promote other advertising areas, including their vast research department. As Everson states, "We know so many things about what young moms are doing online, for example. We need to make that part of our job, rather than just selling media."

While Microsoft does plan to continue selling media, the company will not be so conservative when spending on flashier creative advertisements from now on.

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