Clients Named in MSN’s Creative Connection Program

NEW YORK Deutsch, Wieden + Kennedy and Taxi have decided to develop campaigns for clients Revlon, Sharp and Covenant House, respectively, as a part of MSN’s inaugural Creative Connection Program.

The program, which kicked off in June, is MSN’s “friendly challenge” to traditional creative directors to develop groundbreaking online work [IQ Daily Briefing, June 18]. To aid the effort, the Microsoft-owned property is giving creative directors from three agencies free rein to craft a campaign, using premium MSN inventory as their canvas.

MSN issued the initial challenge to Deutsch managing director, executive creative director Kathy Delaney, Wieden + Kennedy co-creative directors Ty Montague and Todd Waterbury and Crispin Porter + Bogusky executive creative director Alex Bogusky. CP+B is no longer involved, a representative from the Miami-based, MDC Partners-backed agency said, but he did not elaborate. Paul Lavoie, chairman and chief creative officer of Toronto-based Taxi, however, has joined the program.

The campaigns will start appearing this fall. MSN is offering the agencies full access to its technological resources to implement their visions, and donating space to run the work.

As Internet advertising nears its decade mark, media properties such as MSN and Yahoo! continue to push agencies and advertisers to create water-cooler-worthy Web work.

Yahoo!, for instance, hosts a Creative Summit Series, a roving conference that began in October 2002 to evangelize online creativity. This year, the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based portal has been awarding the Yahoo! Big Idea Chair for innovation to agencies such as Wieden, which created the multifaceted “Beta-7” campaign for Sega’s ESPN NFL Football videogame.