MSN Video Enlists Blue-Chip Clients

MSN has signed on Revlon, Gateway and Discover Card to stream their TV assets on its new ad-supported video service and is set to strike deals with packaged-goods, technology and financial-services clients, the company said last week.

“We’re talking to the big, blue-chip brands that are very wedded to the TV advertising model,” said Steve Moss, general manager of ad sales at the Microsoft unit.

MSN Video, which launched Jan. 8, runs a 15- or 30-second ad for every two video clips downloaded. It also displays related interactive ads. Yahoo! Launch and ESPN Motion have similar offerings.

Initially, MSN is selling inventory largely to clients of Starcom MediaVest Group, the Publicis Groupe agency that helped develop the service’s media-buying components. Adam Gerber, SMG director of strategy and innovation, noted that rather than being “interruptive,” the video-based ads are integrated into “a video experience that a user has chosen to participate in.”

Revlon, which is handled by Interpublic Group’s Deutsch in New York, is paying a CPM of about $12 to run an Overtime Lip Color spot featuring Halle Berry. The company is guaranteed 3 million impressions and pays only if the ad is viewed for at least 8 seconds, said Patrick Benson, Deutsch interactive associate media director.