Investing in the Future: New MSN Program Fuels Advertising Innovation

MSN Creative Connection Program Taps Top Talents From Crispin Porter +

Bogusky,Deutsch Inc., and Wieden+Kennedy New York to Expand Possibilities for

Online Advertising

Jun 18, 2004, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    REDMOND, Wash., June 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MSN(R) aims to ignite
 innovation in advertising with a new program in the United States that teams
 some of the most creative minds in advertising with its own top talents and
 advanced technology to develop online advertising breakthroughs. The MSN
 Creative Connection Program gives print, broadcast and outdoor advertising
 pioneers free rein to push the boundaries of online marketing on some of the
 most coveted advertising space on the Internet.
     (Logo:  NewsCom: )
     Award-winning creative directors Alex Bogusky of Crispin Porter + Bogusky,
 Kathy Delaney of Deutsch Inc., and Ty Montague & Todd Waterbury of
 Wieden+Kennedy New York, along with others at their agencies, will bring their
 brand-building talents to the latest MSN effort to enhance the creative cachet
 of online advertising.
     "Of all the media options available to marketers today, online offers the
 richest palette of options for reaching consumers -- sight, sound, motion and
 interactivity -- along with the high-end demographic advertisers covet, but it
 is not being used to its greatest potential," said Eric Hadley, director of
 marketing at MSN. "The Creative Connection Program offers the leading creative
 directors and marketing experts the creative freedom, along with the paint,
 canvas, and technical support necessary, to take the medium to an entirely new
 level of brand storytelling."
     New Program Demonstrates the MSN Commitment to Creative Agencies,
     Each of the creative directors and agencies taking part in the Creative
 Connection Program will develop fully integrated advertising campaigns for the
 client of their choice, with a powerful online component utilizing the
 resources and talent offered by the MSN creative Custom Solutions team, which
 has received applause for such unique campaigns as the Volvo Digital Garage at .
     The campaigns will begin appearing this fall with online ads placed across
 the MSN network and in premium advertising space including MSN Video, and
 possible new areas specific to the advertisers' needs. MSN will take it to the
 road on a multiple-city media tour to credit the featured clients and provide
 a sneak peek at the newly created campaigns before their debut on MSN.
     To spur cutting-edge approaches to brand-building, MSN partnered with
 creative directors and agencies known for doing some of the best and most
 innovative integrated advertising work. The accomplishments of the creative
 directors and agencies taking part include the following:
     -- Alex Bogusky is an executive creative director at Miami-based Crispin
        Porter + Bogusky. CP+B's clients include the "truth" anti-tobacco
        campaign, BMW MINI, Burger King, IKEA, Virgin Atlantic Airways and
        Molson. CP+B was responsible for the recent Burger King Subservient
        Chicken campaign, a viral effort that attracted more than 1 million
        hits on its first day alone. In an unprecedented sweep during the
        2003-2004 awards show season, CP+B won the Grand Prix at Cannes, an
        O'Toole award for overall creative excellence from the American
        Association of Advertising Agencies, as well as the grand prizes at the
        CLIOS, EFFIES, Kelly's, OBIES, APG awards and the One Show.
     -- Kathy Delaney, managing partner and executive creative director for
        Deutsch NY and 2003 inductee into the American Advertising Federation
        Hall of Fame, has guided Deutsch's creative team in creating award-
        winning work on behalf of clients including Snapple, Monster, Revlon,
        and Johnson & Johnson's Tylenol.
     -- Ty Montague & Todd Waterbury, co-creative directors for Wieden+Kennedy
        New York, whose revolutionary integrated campaign for ESPN NFL Football
        by Sega has swept the 2004 award shows. Montague oversees all creative
        work at the shop, including Nike, ESPN, Brand Jordan, U.S. Trust, Sega
        Sports, Sharp Electronics and Avon.
     "The days of traditional advertising on traditional media alone are over,"
 Bogusky said. "The MSN program allows us to explore new ways to reach
 consumers, to really push the boundaries with online advertising in ways we
 might not have been able to do without support from MSN."
     "Creating a new brand story platform is incredibly exciting, and the time
 is completely right for it. Our connection with MSN allows us to do it without
 any handcuffs," Delaney said.
     "We feel like kids let loose in a candy shop," Montague said. "This
 program has given us the chance to try some truly groundbreaking ideas and
 approaches without restraints of dipping too far into our clients' advertising
     New MSN Programs Are Proof of Mission to Elevate Online Advertising
     The Creative Connection Program follows the March announcement of findings
 from the Advertising Accountability research study, sponsored by MSN, that
 demonstrates online advertising is a critical part of the media mix. Developed
 by the research firm Marketing Evolution, the study determined that online
 advertising lifted sales for targeted consumer packaged goods by 7 percent to
 12.5 percent and outperformed other types of media by as much as 30 percent.
     "The Creative Connection Program, coupled with the Advertising
 Accountability study, will help advertisers answer some of their most
 pertinent questions: How effective is online versus other media? What is the
 ideal media mix? And how can I do amazing creative that stands out?" Hadley
 said. "We expect this effort to open the industry's eyes to the immense
 creative and powerful branding opportunities with online advertising."
     About MSN
     MSN attracts more than 350 million unique users worldwide per month. With
 localized versions available globally in 38 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a
 world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and ad sales to
 businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN
 brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their
 time online. MSN is located on the Web at . MSN worldwide
 sites are located at .
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq:   MSFT) is the worldwide leader in
 software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their
 full potential.
     NOTE:  Microsoft and MSN are either registered trademarks or trademarks of
 Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.