Microsoft Advertising: Nokia deal will accelerate ad revenue in emerging markets

Microsoft’s Advertising division is hoping its parent company’s move to acquire Nokia’s handset business will propel it into a leadership division in emerging markets. 

Nokia Microsoft
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft CEO Steve Baller in 2011 when the two companies’ strategic partnership was first announced.

Speaking to Marketing Week at Dmexco in Cologne, Frank Holland, corporate vice president of Microsoft Advertising and Online, said the “most exciting opportunity” the deal offers from an advertising perspective is Nokia’s “deep foothold” in emerging markets.

While Microsoft’s Advertising’s strategy to promote “beautiful, useful and relevant” advertising means it is unlikely to move into selling advertising on feature phones, Holland says the “huge untouched smartphone market” and Nokia’s brand awareness in those regions plays into Windows Phone’s hand.

Holland said: “The most exciting opportunity, beyond the fact that Nokia represents 80 per cent of Windows Phone sales is their position in emerging markets. Nokia has a phone model and OS that is not Windows Phone that is incredibly popular in India, parts of Africa and China.

“That’s a huge untouched smartphone market that will one day move to smartphones. Whatever that device is [be it a phone or a tablet], we want to be there.”

Microsoft will also take learnings from Nokia’s supply chain capabilities, which Holland suggested could help the company upsell other products beyond mobile such as XBox.

Last year, Microsoft set itself the task of “reinventing digital advertising” following the launch of its Windows 8 Software. Holland said the company has “made a good lot of progress” in its mission, particularly when it works with brands directly – such as recent campaigns with retailer All Saints, airline Delta and car marque Jeep – on campaigns at early stages, a process he calls “co-ideation”.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here