MSNBC on the Internet is becoming the latest site to embrace custom online publishing.
Late last week, the company launched a section, Style Watch Work, created by MSNBC editorial staff and sponsored by Levi Strauss & Co. to promote its Levi’s, Slates and Dockers brands.
MSNBC.com has struck similar deals recently with Toshiba, U.S. Robotics and Johnson & Johnson, which have all committed between $100,000 and $1 million for sponsorship deals ranging from one month to one year. One soon to be announced deal includes advertising on MSNBC cable. Each advertiser will use a variety of online ad forms.
The Levi’s Style Watch Work is a glimpse of what MSNBC.com visitors can expect from those other advertisers. The area, which resides in MSNBC.com’s Living section, will run for 13 weeks and will contain editorial content aimed at providing professionals with ideas on casual businesswear. Microsoft’s Advertising Business Unit produced a microsite called Style Guide located at msn.com/styleguide.
MSNBC insisted on clearly separating editorial and advertising. “As we approached this project, we were very clear with Levi’s,” said director of advertising Scott Moore. “The editorial content is driven by the MSNBC.com editorial staff.”
As for the other sponsorships, only Johnson & Johnson has launched its effort, a site for Major League Baseball postseason coverage (www.mlbworldseries.com). Toshiba will sponsor coverage of the Comdex computer industry trade show in Las Vegas in November. And U.S. Robotics’ one-year deal includes sponsorship MSNBC.com’s Commerce section in November.
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