Microsoft expands ad offerings and offers cash back in search

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Microsoft to acquire Rapt
Microsoft to acquire Rapt

Microsoft has upped its ante in the advertising space with a few new offerings. This week the software giant announced a new display ad network for mobile phones, a new search tool that gives consumers cash back, new in-game advertising for video games and a plan to test advertising on the online site Zune Social and on the Zune music devices themselves.

Microsoft Live Search cash back is an ad-supported cash rebates program that gives customers who find and purchase items via search an incentive. The complete Live Search cash back product portfolio includes more than 10 million product offers from more than 700 merchants, including eBay, Barnes & Noble.com, Overstock.com, Sears, Zappos.com and WPP.

The company also released a new Live Search travel destination, Live Search Farecast, a search engine that aggregates travel deals from all over the Web similar to Kayak.com or SideStep.com.
The new products come from the Advertising Business Group division of Microsoft, which is aiming to engage consumers “beyond the browser.”

In addition, Microsoft advertisers can now access campaigns through Windows Live for mobile in France, Spain, the UK and the US by creating banner ads that will be visible across Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail.

Currently advertisers in these countries can already run ads on MSN Mobile content.
Microsoft also announced plans to further expand its mobile offerings for advertisers to now include mobile search advertisements on Live Search Mobile. Advertisers can create keyword campaigns through Microsoft AdCenter that target customers on mobile phones using Live Search Mobile.
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