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Microsoft to take over central ad break during The X Factor final

The ads will promote 'PA' Cortana

Microsoft will take over the full central ad break during The X Factor final on 13 December, in a deal negotiated by Dentsu Aegis Network.

A series of humorous Blipverts, spoken by Peter Dickson, voice of The X Factor, will link the ads in the break together.

The Blipverts will appear in between the prime time ads from British Gas, Asda, Camelot and Littlewoods to link them together.

Paul Davies, marketing director at Microsoft, said: “The X Factor final gives us the unique opportunity to connect with our always-on audience of cultural trendsetters at scale. This is a very exciting campaign designed to illustrate to our young audience just how smart intelligent services can help them manage everyday life seamlessly and keep them up to date on things they are interested in without losing the human touch.”

The respective planning and broadcasting teams at Dentsu Aegis Network’s agencies, Carat and Vizeum, worked very closely to involve Littlewoods, Asda, British Gas and Camelot as pat of the collaborative campaign.

Carli Forrest, creative solutions executive at Carat UK, said: “This is an ambitious campaign which redefines the rules of traditional media buying. True collaboration was key in this strategy and is a great means to find creative and innovative solutions to brands’ and consumers’ needs in a convergent media landscape.”

The aim of the campaign is to promote Cortana’s smart functionalities, highlighting how the voice-activated personal assistant can help users organise day-to-day activities smoothly.

Microsoft will also deploy ITV’s Ad Sync technology, enabling Cortana to take over The X Factor app for a competition and to provide extra content.

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