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Windows 8.1 brings new benefits to advertisers – Greg Nelson – MSFT

Greg Nelson, General Manager of Display Advertising for Microsoft’s Online Services Division, discusses how Windows 8.1 is providing advertisers with the ability to create consumer focused experiences through ads in apps:

  • Audience data will enable advertisers to predict consumer behaviour, channelling relevant and timely ads to them through better ad targeting.
  • The In-Banner video that has been made available will help advertisers incorporate video into their ads to tell a much richer story
  • Finally, Bing Smart Search will help people find relevant information, with search ads being shown within web results.

Last October at Advertising Week, we held a “coming out party” for the advertising opportunities available in Windows 8 – what we call ads in apps. Windows 8 was a reimagining of the Windows operating system and consumer experience; it was a bold statement of innovation for an era of highly mobile, touch-enabled, and always-on, always-connected computing. To borrow a phrase, it was a brand new world – for Microsoft Advertising as well as our customers. The ad opportunities we’ve created since then have been designed to deliver rich, brand-safe experiences that add value to consumers and increase engagement opportunities for marketers in new ways, only possible through Windows 8.

In the last 12 months, we have worked tirelessly with marketers and have learned quite a bit about what consumers want and don’t want when they are going about their “digital day.” As a result, by working together, we’ve been able to deliver stunning premium creative executions on Ads in Apps for Windows 8, that consumers are finding stylish and innovative, including campaigns in partnership with All Saints and Cadillac, to name just a couple.

Now, with the release of Windows 8.1, we’re turning the page to the next chapter in the Windows 8 story. This chapter continues our commitment to creating innovative, consumer- focused advertising experiences that are beautiful, relevant and useful. Today we are introducing new audience insights, targeting options and a number of creative ad experiences that can be used in Windows 8.1 apps. Our goal is to provide marketers with innovative solutions for effective advertising that reach consumers where they are, responsibly, and in a manner that is consistent with the content environment the consumer happens to be in. The launch of Windows 8.1 brings us closer to that goal.

Here are some specifics:


For the first time, we’re releasing audience data about Windows 8 Ads in Apps. We’ve learned quite a bit from case studies and about the types of people using Windows 8, and their habits while they conduct in-app activities. For example, we’ve learned that our Windows 8 audience includes:

Game enthusiasts: They spend 5.54 hours a month on our suite of app network games in the US.

Skype lovers: In the US, people who use the Skype app spend an average of 41 minutes on the Skype app monthly. Forty-seven percent of people who use the Skype app consider themselves to be part of a “family” and 52 percent of Skype app users have children in the home.

Case study research has also been positive. In a recent case study we conducted with Toyota, we discovered that 54 percent of those consumers surveyed said that Toyotas ads in Windows 8 apps were an appropriate fit with their digital environment. Research also showed that Windows 8 helped deliver an ancillary “halo effect” for the Toyota brand.

So what does this mean for advertisers? It means that people are spending time doing the things they love, be it gaming or communicating with their families, within Windows 8 apps. The research also shows that ads within the Windows 8 app environment are seen as a good fit within the environment and have positive effects for our brands.


Over the past few months, our advertising customers have said they would like to have better targeting capabilities on Windows 8. Based on that feedback, we’re enabling robust demographic and behavioral targeting on Windows 8.1.

This means that advertisers can better target their audience across the entire Ads in Apps environment, which includes Microsoft owned and operated inventory such as Bing Apps (Sports, News, Finance and Weather), the Skype app, and the Xbox Windows 8 app. In addition, any app that uses the Microsoft Advertising SDK can now better utilize our targeting capabilities. The information that Microsoft is able to utilize will help advertisers better reach consumers on Windows 8, based on interests they might have, such as sports, entertainment, autos and financial services.

We believe ad personalization will not only drive better results for our advertisers, but also benefit customers, who will now see ads that are more useful and relevant to their daily lives – ads that help them get things done.

Because we also strongly believe in providing choice to consumers about their advertising preferences, people can opt-out of personalized advertising from Microsoft at any time by visiting:


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