Microsoft signs deal with Publicis Groupe

Cannes: Microsoft Advertising has secured a global partnership deal with Publicis Groupe for a major research project to improve the targeting of online and TV advertising.

Gregg Albright
Gregg Albright

The software company’s advertising arm will work closely with Publicis-owned studio PBJS and the Vivaki Nerve Center to help online advertisers and publishers get the best return on investment for their targeted ads.

The deal is initially for one year, effective from August 1, though it is likely to be extended. It will not impact on existing media agency arrangements and will be run from London and Paris.

Speaking exclusively to Marketing Week in the Cannes Lions international advertising festival, Gregg Albright, Microsoft Advertising’s vice president of global accounts, consumer and online, says: “The work coming out of this collaboration will enable advertisers to get the best return on investment for their brand ads through knowing how to optimise content to be the best, ensuring it performs at the optimum level and reaches out to the right audience.”

The deal follows Microsoft Advertising’s sponsorship of The Pool, a VivaKi research initiative that tested new online video ad formats and new digital ad models. The first wave of this research helped to inspire the recent brand refresh of MSN Video, and Albright believes it can help to revolutionise the online ad industry.

Publicis will also help Microsoft test its Navic subsidiary, which uses Admira artificial intelligence technology to track audience intelligence anonymously.

David Kenny, managing partner of VivaKi told Marketing Week: “We will help to pilot this technology in the US towards the end of the year. The system will provide us with enough data to be able to tell television advertisers which programmes are suitable for their ads to be broadcast alongside, and later in real-time track if the audience metrics were right.”

As part of the agreement, Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia and Digitas will be the first agency networks to use the Admira technology to help clients plan and buy media when Admira goes live towards the end of the year. Microsoft hopes to bring Navic to the UK some time next year.

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