Microsoft has billed its Windows 8's Ads in Apps feature as a way to integrate branded experiences into apps wherever the new operating system is running, on PCs, tablets, phones or Xbox. Today, the company announced that a number of the world's largest brands are giving it a shot.
More than 25 brands -- including Coca-Cola, Ford and Samsung -- signed on for Windows 8 Ads in Apps campaigns as of the new operating system's global launch on October 26, Microsoft Advertising announced today. Other notable brands include Cadillac, Citi, Hyundai, Intel, LG and Nissan.
The functionality and placement of each Ads in Apps campaign varies by brand, with many companies choosing to embed their content within specific Windows 8 apps and in specific countries. Microsoft has more than 60 devices running on the latest iteration of the operating system including phones, tablets, laptops and the Xbox.
Some brands chose to create apps of their own, however. Because Microsoft released its software developer kit (SDK) for Windows 8 to brands in March, companies were able to build third-party apps featuring only their branded content.
20th Century Fox took advantage by creating an exclusive app for "Life of Portent-Inc' class='directory_entry' title='Ad Age LookBook '>Pi ," the Ang Lee-directed adaptation of the novel of the same name set to release this month. The promotional app can be seen in the Xbox video app in the same tile format as movies available for rent.
"We wanted to create an open ecosystem and put the power of our ad SDK on full display," Frank Holland, Microsoft's vice president of advertising and online, said. "[Creative agencies] are going to be driving a lot of the app development in the future."
Technologists at Seattle-based agency Razorfish used the SDK to develop a tablet app for its client Delta and work in conjunction with Microsoft developers to optimize Windows 8 for ad content.
"When you're on the Windows 8 platform as a marketer you now have the capability to code into the technology platform," Razorfish CEO Bob Lord said. "That specification that they sent out to us allowed us to do a lot more on the platform than I would suggest some of their competitors have done in the past. It became more of a hackathon."