Microsoft Advertising Introduces Bing Ads and Yahoo! Bing Network

Microsoft has announced rebranding of adCenter to Bing Ads and the launch of Yahoo! Bing Network, formerly known as Search Alliance.

Yahoo! and Microsoft Search Alliance was born two years ago and reaches 151 million people today. The network includes the reach and benefits of Yahoo! Search and Bing partner publisher sites. Earlier this year, Microsoft brought all advertising marketing programs from Microsoft Advertising to the Bing umbrella. The latest announcement is a step in the same direction of streamlining a single digital advertising platform.

Bing Ads is a reimagined and improved way for managing campaigns on the Yahoo! Bing Network. Along with the rebranding, the platform has introduced a new Import Campaign feature which allows advertisers to import their search campaigns from Google Ad Words into Bing Ads. This will give their campaigns greater visibility and reach beyond just one search platform. Also, the new Editorial Exceptions feature will help advertisers resolve any editorial disapprovals during and after the ad submission process. With ongoing enhancements to the Bing Ads Editor tool, advertisers have an additional resource for tracking performance and identifying growth opportunities.

The Yahoo! Bing Network represents 70% of all searchers in the US, 20% of which are unique to the Yahoo! Bing Network. According to a comScore report quoted by Microsoft, searchers on Yahoo! Bing Network in the U.S. are likely to spend 24% more than the average searcher, and likely to spend 5% more than Google searchers.

Twitter Launches Interest Targeting for Advertisers

Twitter has launched a new feature for advertisers called Interest Targeting. This new capability enables advertisers to target and advertise to the entire user base of Twitter, which is now over 140 million monthly active users through promoted tweets and promoted accounts, based on specific sets of interests.

You can either select from 350 different interest categories to target, or you can target precise sets of users by specifying a @username and targeting users which are similar to that user’s followers in terms of demographic profiles and interests.

Twitter has also lowered the minimum bid for ad auctions to one cent, which should increase participation while the auction format ensures that the ad rates stay competitively high.

Twitter is expected to earn hundreds of millions of dollars in ad revenue this year. With offerings like these, it is positioning itself as a premium advertising destination for advertisers looking to reach users based on their interests and preferences. Unlike Facebook, it may not face the pressures of being a public company just yet, but it still has to eventually become a wildly profitable company to justify its massive valuation.

You can create your Twitter Ad Campaigns here: Start Advertising – Twitter for Business

via Twitter

Facebook, Google & Twitter Unify To Combat “Spam”

In the digital world, people are consuming media in a totally new fashion. New patterns emerge where substantial data is gathered to analyze media consumption. The results obtained from such data serve as a tool to understand what type of content people consume, like and share. In order to keep providing content as such, it is imperative to provide exceptional user experience. Companies have understood this and aim to not only maintain the rate of media consumption but increment for increased traffic, revenues and most importantly, a larger volume of consumers. Media companies are constantly challenged to come up with innovative methods to capture the eye-balls of media consumers and are investing heavily in research to understand the essential ingredients that make up an exceptional user experience. To add to the challenge, companies have been battling spam and malicious advertising which has been a major obstacle to this feat. This time around, big names such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, AOL and IAB have joined hands to combat spam once and for all.

Facebook, Google, Twitter Combine Forces

Captioned under the Ads Integrity Alliance, the initiative was launched a week ago under the StopBadWare organization. The objective is to mitigate malicious ads and contribute to better practices, better service. According to Maxim Weinstein, the Executive Director of the organization, no single player can attempt to fight this cause of its own which is why they are unifying the big players in the industry to fight this problem together.

Google’s Public Policy Manager, Eric Davis affirmed that the Ads Integrity Alliance will serve as a platform where companies can work together to protect users from malicious ads. He further added if the user feels deceived, the entire web’s reputation is on stake.

Watch out Google, Facebook-Bing Duo Combine Forces

A phenomenon such as online advertising has gradually moved into the mainstream and has become one of the major marketing methods for companies to reach out to their current and prospective customers. Being a questionable marketing methodology in its introductory phase, businesses soon realized that it beholds the future of advertising. The tremendous amount of advertising being carried out in the social sphere is testimony to the former affirmation. Consequently, the amount of competition has become fiercer and fiercer regardless of whether there are small or big players.

The rivalry between Facebook and Google has been of utmost prominence in the present day era and it is of no exception to competition. Both players have been competing head-to-head with each other for quite a while now. They have not only become competitors but they have converted into worthy adversaries. From time to time, both Google and Facebook have been demanding attention from customers and to do so, they have been playing “pucker-up” with each other. The latest episode in this supposedly never-ending war is an initiative by Facebook. It recognizes Google’s competitive advantage is its search engine and its ultimate attempt to oust it is by portraying this giant advertisement of Microsoft’s search engine “Bing”. Take a look!

The social networking giant revolutionized the media industry and acquired an enviable consumer base in a short passage of time. The way it accomplished it motivated Google to introduce its own social network, Google+. However, its success index is still under examination. What remains interesting in this eternal clash between both these players is what they will keep on doing in the future with respect to each other in order to remain on top.

Opera Acquires Two More Mobile Advertising Networks

The Norwegian browser maker Opera Software, which had an excellent Q4 2011, has acquired two mobile advertising networks – Mobile Theory Inc. and 4th Screen Advertising, Ltd. The company expects the new purchases to “significantly expand its offering to advertisers and mobile publishers”.


Back in 2010, Opera entered the booming mobile advertising arena with the acquisition of AdMarvel for $8 million in cash. Soon after, Opera launched Open Mobile Ad Exchange, which helps monetize Opera Mini and Opera Mobile by inserting ads into partner websites.

AdMarvel is already having a significant positive impact on Opera’s bottom line. By the end of 4Q11, mobile advertisements delivered by AdMarvel reached more than 130 million consumers across more than 7,000 mobile applications and websites around the world. This represents an impressive 134% year-on-year increase. During the same period, Opera’s revenue in the mobile publisher (Opera Mobile Store) and advertiser area (AdMarvel and Opera Mobile Ad Exchange) grew over 200%.

The new acquisitions will help Opera sign up more publishers and advertisers by increasing the reach of its mobile ad network. 4th Screen Advertising is focused on UK and other European countries, and its advertiser clients include Coke, Barclaycard, Direct Line, Green Flag, Disney, Natwest, Warner Bros, Nokia and more. On the other hand, Mobile Theory is more US oriented, and has clients like Microsoft, Chevrolet and Coca-Cola.

“This is yet another important step in Opera’s quest to create even more economic value in the mobile ecosystem. Two years ago, we announced the acquisition of AdMarvel – which has grown to become the global leader as a supply-side platform (publisher platform) for mobile advertising. Last year, Opera helped generate well over $200 million in revenue for our publishers globally,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software.

Opera will shell out $5 million in cash upfront to each of the companies, with $16 million being put in escrow ($13 million for Mobile Theory and $3 million for 4th Screen). Amount from the escrow will be paid out to the sellers in 2012 and 2013 based on revenue performance targets. Additionally, MT and 4th Screen can earn up to $32 million and $6.5 million respectively in earn-out cash for fulfilling aggressive 2012 and 2013 revenue and EBIT targets.

Microsoft and Partners Launch New Ad Campaigns For Holiday Season

With the iPhone 4S set to shatter sales records the competition better have something up their sleeves to compete. For Microsoft the upcoming holiday season is going to be tricky. As Todd Bishop at GeekWire points out, the company has a new range of Windows Phone 7 Mango handsets coming out but besides that they don’t have any other new product for users.

Many enthusiasts have been wondering why Microsoft does not talk about the consumer ecosystem it has created. In the coming days, Microsoft will be changing that. The core premise is Windows enabling families stay connected and have a great time with technology. Microsoft shared two advertisements talking about the concept:

The second ad Dog.ppt is a pretty cool ad but I have my doubts about the first one. (I am not the only one.)

Microsoft is rumored to  be investing several Million Dollars for OEM partners for advertising their Windows Phone 7 handsets and it looks like HTC is making good use of it. Spotted by WinRumors’ Tom Warren, the HTC WP7 ad aired in the UK is nicely done. Wrapping features around what the phone enables you to do is always a better message than telling us specs and features. Here’s the ad:

Microsoft UK has another HTC WP7 ad that is eye catching. Both ads show promise and in fact as Tom Warren says, Microsoft should have more ads done by the creative agency behind the HTC WP7 ads.

Microsoft Australia had probably one of the coolest launch show for a developer software. Long Zheng wrote about Microsoft Australia putting up a light show using office lights of two building to launch LightSwitch for Visual Studio. Here’s the video of a very un-Microsoft launch:

Twitter Activates “Promoted Tweets To Followers”

For some time now, we have heard rumors that Twitter would be bringing ads to our streams. It only made sense that Twitter would have to find a way to monetize outside of promoted trends. The only logical place for that to happen was in the users feeds, and that has now come true.

Announced on the official Twitter blog, Promoted Tweets have started their reign as of today. For the time being, they are only active for a select set of advertisers. Before you grab your torches and pitch forks, let me explain a few things about the new Twitter ad scheme.

Many people feared that promoted tweets would mean the onset of ads you didn’t want, similar to spam emails. Twitter has said that wouldn’t be the case, and it looks like they were telling the truth. For the time being, ads will only come from brands and companies you already follow. They pay for the ability to be at the top of your stream, despite not being the latest tweet you receive.

That may sound horrible, like they could just clog the top of your stream. According to Twitter’s official blog, promoted tweets won’t do that, either. Twitter says that these ads will move through your stream after a period of time, allowing for you to continue to interact with your friends. They also promise that the promoted tweets will only appear once.

If you don’t want to see the ads roll through your stream at the regular rate, you can choose to dismiss them manually. This is good news for those of us who have an active Twitter engagement. I follow a number of active people, and I would hate to miss any of their tweets.

So there you have it. Promoted tweets are going live, and they may not be so bad. What are your thoughts on these new ads? let us know in the comments section.

NUAds: Microsoft’s Interactive Ad Platform For Xbox Kinect

Advertisements are a major source for revenues and one would expect ads to evolve with the platform they are being served on. Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect is about body gestures and voice, like iOS is about touch. For iOS, Apple introduced iAds, an advertising platform for app developers to create apps that offer an interactive and beautiful experience for the user. Similarly, Microsoft seems to be planning their own advertising platform for the Xbox that will leverage Kinect’s capabilities.

Called NUAds, which I assume could mean Natural User Ads (NUI or Natural User Interface is something Microsoft has been talking about for quite a while.) A recent trademark application filed by Microsoft explains what NUAds is:

Advertising services, namely, promoting and marketing the goods and services of others through online interactive video games by enabling consumers to interact with third-party advertising content through voice or body gestures via computer game console and sensor devices

As the description explains, NUAds will be in-game advertisements where the user can interact with the products or features being advertised using Kinect’s body tracking and voice control. Even though a lot of us don’t like ads interrupting  our activities, adding gesture control could change the experience.

Microsoft will be having some policies on how game publishers will be using NUAds and we shall share more information as we get it.

This is the future of advertisements, Minority Report style.

Google Acquires AdMeld for $400 million

AdMeld, a real time bidding platform (RTB) and an advertising start up, has been acquired by Google for $400 million. The New York based Admeld, launched in 2007, provides advertising optimization platform services for web publishers.

Google Acquires AdMeld

Google had planned to acquire AdMeld in February 2011 for $200 million, but the offer was turned down by AdMeld as the price was too low.

AdMeld has yet to make an announcement about the acquisition.