Windows 8 Ads-in-Apps platform offers "something new" to advertisers according to Microsoft Advertising's GM of display advertising

The Drum spoke with Jennifer Creegan, general manager of the display advertising experiences business group

Windows 8 Ads-in-Apps is “building new ways to give consumers different modes of engagement with advertising, [creating] an opportunities for marketers to communicate in a whole new way,” according to Microsoft Advertising’s general manager of the display advertising experiences business group, Jennifer Creegan.

Described by Andy Hart, Microsoft Advertising’s UK general manager of advertising and online, as “a canvas for advertisers to deliver consistent brand experiences,” Ads-in-Apps aims to offer advertisers and consumers something more than the “flat” ad platforms currently on offer.

In consumer tests carried out prior to its launch almost half of those surveyed (46 per cent) claimed Windows 8 Ads-in-Apps were innovative, with 42 per cent stating that brands using the platform were ‘cutting edge’.

Speaking to The Drum, Creegan explained that the platform is different from a traditional ad space as it “brings together everything from image, text, television and audio into a unique digital experience.”

She continued: “If you look at some of the other app platforms they might have full page experiences once the consumer engages but they’re generally pretty flat. Whereas Ads-in-Apps tries to create uniquely digital experiences, whether that be bringing in hotspot technology from Bing, or combining content and video into a single experience that takes advantage of the natural consumer engagement model in the app experience.”

Since its launch at the beginning of the month, over 25 brands, including Sky, Lloyds TSB and Vodafone, have signed up to advertise on the platform. When asked how brand performance would be measured Creegan revealed that Microsoft was currently “testing all different kinds of measurements, everything from tap through rates to how much of the experience does the consumer engage with. We’re looking at the most effective signals if you were to tell us that this engagement is worthwhile to an advertiser.”

Pre-launch testing in effectiveness proved to be successful as figures given to The Drum from Microsoft Advertising showed brands using Ads-in-Apps were 42 per cent more noticeable, and 92 per cent more recognisable to consumers. 48 per cent of those surveyed also claimed that the advertising in Windows 8 was appropriate for the environment, scoring higher than similar ads on Facebook and YouTube.

Discussing the consumer feedback on the platform so far, Creegan commented: “I would say their acceptance of them [ads] and their satisfaction with them was much higher than I expected.” However, she made it clear that Microsoft Advertising had strict rules when it came to using the platform and that only quality brands and quality ad experiences would be allowed adding: “We’re holding a very high bar in terms of quality and experience and they types of experiences we’ll allow. For example, we will not allow over the page disruptive advertising.”

When asked about the potential of the platform and its projections, Creegan concluded: “The way I think about it, we think about it as the ‘appification’ of the web, consumers engaging in these app like scenarios and apps becoming huge in terms of how they engage.

“If you think about the potential footprint for the ecosystem, for example the current base of Windows users, then it’s a very broad footprint that is engaged with the Windows operating system today and we have a wide range of possibilities for advertisers going forward.

“We’re already working with developers and publishers pretty broadly across the globe to deploy our ad tools and serve our experiences.”

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