Publicis, Microsoft Join for Media Innovation

PARIS Furthering its open-source pursuit of digital solutions for clients, Publicis Groupe is teaming up with Microsoft to explore digital-media innovation in the areas of content, performance and building highly receptive TV audiences based on the needs of specific brands.

Through Publicis’ PBJS studio, and in partnership with the company’s VivaKi Nerve Center, Microsoft will support a PBSJ-developed Content Studio to help enable large-scale, global programming opportunities. Publicis clients will have first access to the programs delivered by the Content Studio.
The two companies also said they would jointly explore technologies and methodologies that would improve engagement, performance and return on investment in the digital marketing and advertising space.

The first of these efforts is an ongoing Microsoft commitment to The Pool, a VivaKi research initiative that tests new online video ad formats and digital ad models. The first lane of The Pool, in test this summer, focused on online video. The second lane, announced last week, targets short-form video content. Future lanes will cover mobile, advanced television and social marketing.
In terms of audience building, VivaKi benefits from the creation of a customized exchange for TV ad units delivered through Microsoft’s Admira technology. This will enable more “audience-specific” TV buying by VivaKi, creating an Audience on Demand facility for television. Admira aggregates anonymous audience intelligence, which may be more challenging to find using traditional sources of viewer measurement, and combines it with additional audience characteristics currently not available on existing TV ad platforms.
Publicis and Microsoft said, “Admira can continuously optimize ad placements in response to near-real-time viewing trends and report the actual audiences that are delivered, which will help agencies and advertisers measure the success of campaigns.”
As part of the joint agreement, Publicis’ Starcom MediaVest Group, Zenith Optimedia and Digitas will be among the first agency networks to use Admira technology to help clients plan and buy media when that new Microsoft technology goes live in the fourth quarter of this year.
“This agreement reflects our commitment to partner with the world’s largest agencies to drive new ideas and innovations that address the complex marketing needs and challenges facing advertisers today,” Darren Huston, vp, Microsoft’s consumer and online group, said in a statement.
David Kenny, managing partner of VivaKi, added: “Given the pace of change in today’s consumer landscape, collaboration is the smartest approach to keep marketers ahead of the curve.”

In January 2008, Publicis and Google said they were working together to combine their expertise in the digital advertising market. At the time, Publicis said it had been working with the search engine giant for more than a year but offered few details about the joint efforts.