Microsoft Gets 30 Brands to Run Windows 8 In-App Ads

20th Century Fox, Nissan running first campaigns

Microsoft may or may not be dropping upwards of $1 billion to promote its latest operating system Windows 8, and now the company’s announcing that 30 brands have agreed to drop their own dollars to run the OS’ new in-app ads.

Microsoft offered a peek at what “Windows 8 Ads in Apps” would look like soon after the company announced its Surface tablet in June. The interactive display ads can feature image galleries or video players and run within Microsoft’s own apps such as Bing, Xbox or Skype as well as apps created by third-party developers.

Of the 30 brands that have signed on thus far, only five will be running campaigns in the U.S. Twentieth Century Fox, one of two global launch advertisers, will promote its upcoming film Life of Pi with ads in the Xbox Video app, Xbox companion mobile and tablet app SmartGlass app and the Casual Games app, which spans Xbox and Microsoft’s desktop and mobile operating systems. And next month the other global launch advertiser, Nissan, will run ads in the Bing and Xbox Music apps.

Though it seems the in-app ads are initially only slated to run within Microsoft’s own apps, the company said several publishers—such as The Associated Press, Bonnier Corporation, Photobucket, Slacker Radio and The Tribune Company—have agreed to run the units.

In announcing the roster of initial advertisers, Microsoft also put out some stats regarding consumer perception of the ad units. The most encouraging stat found that the ads scored a 92 percent in ad recall, but the other numbers suggest brands may prefer consumers forget their ads. Only 39 percent of respondents said they’re happy to see advertising within Windows 8, and only 33 percent agreed that advertising on Windows 8 improved their opinion of a brand.