Microsoft has made no secret in the past 18 months that it wants an intimidating presence in the online advertising space and, with its newly acquired US$6 billion toy, online advertising umbrella group aQuantive, it hopes to seal the deal.
Regional general manager, Microsoft Online Services Group, Erik Johnson this afternoon told Marketing the aQuantive acquisition bolsters Microsoft's ability to run campaigns across all its own mediums, but now adds the ability to place campaigns on any website.
Microsoft has made much of its ability to reach broad audiences through its 2006 launched Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions network - Windows Live Hotmail, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Spaces, MSN, Xbox, and partner websites like Facebook.
The push to colonise the online ad space has been driven by high profile acquisitions like Friday's aQuantive one, which now gives Microsoft a range of online agency properties including the respected interactive agency Razorfish and DRIVEpm (which helps match online media inventory with campaigns), as well as the 2006 acquisition of Massive, which adds in-game advertising clout to the Microsoft offering.
Johnson believes the abundance of online real estate Microsoft owns, combined with the services it can now offer as well as its heritage in software make its online marketing offering compelling.