Microsoft Advertising Debuts

REDMOND, WASH. Microsoft has long worked to convince skeptics of its commitment to the advertising business.

Now, the company has formed Microsoft Advertising, a new brand identity that encompasses the growing list of products and tools it offers advertisers and publishers.

Microsoft announced the new brand on Tuesday at advance08, its annual gathering of brands and agency executives being held this week at its Redmond, Wash., campus. The Microsoft Advertising brand, which will be pushed by the company’s advertiser and publisher solutions (APS) group, includes the ad serving tool Atlas, the ad exchange AdECN, the ad platform adCenter and the in-game ad firm Massive.

The new identity attempts to clarify Microsoft’s ad-related offerings for its customers in order to “bring order amidst the chaos,” said Brian McAndrews, svp, Microsoft’s APS group, during his keynote at advance08.

McAndrews also emphasized that Microsoft, along with Google, was one of few companies that could offer comprehensive solutions to online advertisers.

Besides the new brand title, Microsoft also said it would begin running its first display ads on its Windows Live mobile services, which include the popular communications platforms Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail. The company has signed on FedEx, Paramount, Adidas and Coca-Cola as charter sponsors.