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By Maria Greaves, Assistant editor - branded content

May 29, 2024 | 5 min read

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In part three of our ‘Eye on AI’ series, we explore how generative AI is reshaping collaboration and the dynamics of the digital ecosystem to change the advertising world.

Microsoft Advertisings Ravleen Beeston

We are in the business of empowerment, collaborating with some of the most innovative players across the digital world / The Drum

The pace of change in digital advertising is accelerating, fast. The rise of generative AI is transforming our industry, making advertising more efficient, effective, and impactful. While this new technology has the potential to revolutionize industries, such significant change doesn’t happen in silos. The industry needs to collaborate to innovate.

A thriving and sustainable ecosystem is built on partnerships which strengthen each player. As Microsoft Advertising UK’s regional vice-president Ravleen Beeston says: “The big tech companies responsible for this technology are not going to be able to make change happen alone.” Key industry players are joining forces to turbo boost the potential of this trailblazing technology – strengthening connections across the industry and unlocking new monetization opportunities at the same time.

Transforming advertising ecosystems

Collaborating with generative AI is making the entire industry more efficient and agile. As dentsu Creative’s global chief technology officer, James Thomas says, generative AI partnerships “will revolutionize the entire advertising lifecycle, from audience insights, media planning and buying, to visualizing concepts, scaled content production and data driven personalization.”

For small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) in particular, these advantages are not just beneficial but are crucial for growth as they look for omnichannel advertising solutions that allow them to reach new audiences at scale. As SMBs are typically ‘early adopters’ of technology, many rely on partnerships to accelerate their business goals. And this is certainly the case with generative AI: it increases productivity in SMBs by 40% on average, according to research by Microsoft. Not surprisingly, 71% of SMBs say they’re planning to continue or start investing in generative AI this year.

“Partnerships are a central part of Microsoft’s philosophy,” explains Beeston. “We are in the business of empowerment, collaborating with some of the most innovative players across the digital world who support our mission to empower every person, and every organization on the planet to achieve more.”

Creating new advertising opportunities

Generative AI partnerships are also creating “whole new discovery and path to purchase journeys, which, in turn, are creating new avenues of advertising opportunities and reaching potential customers in new ways,” says Skyscanner’s director of paid marketing, Friederike Burge.

Take, for example, the AI-powered travel bot Layla which launched in 2023 with backing from the co-founders of and Skyscanner. The collaboration opens a vast library of travel inspiration and Skyscanner’s flight inventory to users and gives advertisers a new route to market.

Similarly, Skyscanner’s partnership with start-up travel planning assistant GuideGeek offers users flight information and booking links and enables Skyscanner to advertise to new audiences.

Empowering publishers through rich partnerships

In another part of the advertising ecosystem, partnerships with publishers are creating new monetization opportunities while also helping marketers reach a wider network of high value audiences with personalized content – ultimately driving higher click-through and conversion rates.

For example, Microsoft Advertising’s Chat Ads API helps publishers monetize their own chat experiences through advertising. Several publishing partners are utilizing the Chat Ads API including Snapchat, Axel Springer, Baidu Global and, most recently, Direqt.

Publishing partnerships are also supporting independent quality journalism. Axel Springer and Microsoft recently announced an expansion to their multifaceted partnership. Together, they are continuing to fuel the publisher’s ventures in AI, building on projects such as the AI assistant Hey_ on This product, which leverages Microsoft Advertising’s Chat Ads API for generative AI monetization, provides new opportunities for advertisers to connect with users who collectively generate approximately 16-17 million visits per day.

Partnerships have always played a pivotal role in driving innovation across the advertising landscape. Whether it’s empowering advertisers or creating growth opportunities for publishers, collaboration fosters new opportunities and relevance in an ever-evolving digital world. The call to action is clear - foster partnerships that align with advertising ambitions, because the partnerships that are forged today will shape the future of digital advertising tomorrow.

Catch up on part one and part two of our ‘Eye on AI’ series. And stay tuned next Wednesday when we’ll be turning an eye to AI in the future in our final instalment.

Artificial Intelligence #digital Generative AI

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