MSN launches MSN adCenter, paid-search service

Press release at PR Newswire announces MSN's new paid-search service, MSN adCenter:

"NEW YORK, Sept. 26
/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today, Yusuf Mehdi, senior vice president of
the MSN(R) Information Services & Merchant Platform division,
opened the second annual Advertising Week 2005 in New York City by
announcing the official launch of adCenter in France and Singapore.
adCenter powers a paid-search service from MSN that provides advanced
audience intelligence and targeting capabilities to help advertisers
improve their return on investment when it comes to paid-search

The official launch of adCenter in
France today and Singapore on Aug. 31 follows successful pilot programs
in both countries. U.S. testing of adCenter is set to begin in October."

The same release also provides a high-level description of the service features:

-- Keyword Selection
allows advertisers to indicate whom they want to reach based on
geographic location, gender, age range, time of day and day of week,
and suggests keywords based on the desired audience. -- Site Analyzer
assists advertisers by suggesting keywords based on the content of
their Web site, rather than on another keyword.

-- Audience Profiler provides advertisers with an expected profile of those customers who are most likely to search for specific keywords.

-- Cost Estimator helps advertisers remain within their budget by estimating rank, traffic and cost per month per keyword.

-- Campaign Optimization
allows advertisers to respond quickly and decisively throughout the
campaign to easily refine budget allocations and keywords, as well as
apply targeting filters such as geographic, demographic and dayparting.

-- Post Sales Audience Intelligence & Reporting
provides advertisers with detailed reports on campaign performance and
audiences reached including click-through rate, estimated position and
spending levels.

The release has only just gone live, so no real reaction to find yet.  In the meantime, there was this speculative thread over at WebmasterWorld running ealier this month, but I'll update this post as I find more hard info.


27 Sept 2005:

  • Softpedia:

    "Unlike its rivals, Google and
    Yahoo, Microsoft offers its clients a demographic targeting of the ads.
    In this way, they will be able to establish their target by choosing
    the age, sex and local time."

  • ZDNet reports on search ads growth:

"As of June, advertisers
had spent $5.8 billion to place ads online this year, a 26 percent
increase compared with the first six months of 2004, according to a new

This record spending was once again led by ads linked to Web search
results, said the Interactive Advertising Bureau, or IAB, which
released the report Monday in conjunction with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Spending on search-related ads reached $2.3 billion, a 27 percent
increase compared with the same period last year, the report said.

Overall, search ads accounted for 40 percent of Internet ad sales, in line with last year, the group said. Banner ads and classified listings were the next-biggest ad categories, attracting 20 percent and 18 percent of the spending, respectively."

30 Sept 2005

"While the news media has taken a Microsoft vs. Google ad platform story line,
the important implication is somewhat different. Sure, Microsoft sees Google as
a major rival, and one with some pretty good ad services for advertisers. But
Microsoft's bigger rival, and also Google's, is the offline advertising bucket.
Just look at television, where Apple iPod nano spots frequently appear during
Prime Time. What Microsoft really wants--and Google, too--is to provide tools so
sophisticated, so able to provide advertisers with meaningful and tactical data,
that more ad money will go into online buckets."

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