Microsoft inks deal with Starcom MediaVest Group to create video ads

Much like it did with Yahoo, Starcom Mediavest Group (SMG) is partnering with Microsoft to produce video ads across a number of platforms, including MSN, XBox and Skype.

The deal will enable SMG, a Publicis Group agency, to create personalized video content for its client brands, using data from Microsoft product users. “People consume video across all kinds of screens all times of the day, so it’s essential we create solutions for advertisers to help find people wherever they may be and determine how to scale creative ads across devices,” said Ritu Trivedi, managing director, Digital Marketplace at MediaVest. “This agreement will help us deliver on this need by leveraging the scale and breadth Microsoft can offer.”

Microsoft claims it has access to 78% of the country’s internet audience through its various browser and non-browser based services. Along with SMG, it will partner with third-party analytics platforms to provide consumer insights on its devices and apps, in order to create more relevant video experiences.

Where it gets complicated, however, is that SMG is currently Microsoft’s media agency, and in January, Microsoft announced that it was reviewing its marketing services. Which means SMG is simultaneously striking a video content deal for its other clients while fighting to retain the Microsoft account as well.

A spokesperson from Microsoft had this to say:

“The video agreement announced between Microsoft and the Starcom MediaVest Group is unrelated to Microsoft’s advertising agency review.  As stated previously, we regularly evaluate our agency mix as a business best practice to ensure we retain the services that best fit the needs of our evolving business.” 

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