MSN push focuses on everyday

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Daily life scenarios highlighting the usefulness of online services are the focus of a new global brand campaign breaking today for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN.

The multimillion TV, print and online campaign, created by Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco, marks year two of the software giant's drive to brand MSN. MSN 7, the latest upgrade, was introduced Oct. 15.

Print ads debut this week in magazines and newspapers featuring the MSN butterfly icon, along with icons for e-mail and other services. One ad depicts how MSN can help a consumer shop for a bicycle for a trip in Tuscany, find scenic cycling routes and chat in real-time with potential riding partners.

A :30 TV spot breaks tonight in primetime and cable broadcasts, followed by at least six more spots. The campaign also marks the debut of a new tagline: "More Useful Everyday." MSN spent an estimated $25 million in 2000 in measured media in the U.S. and $6 million from Jan.-June of this year, according to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR. Spending on year two is comparable to last year's, said Eric Hadley, director of advertising, MSN.

MSN's ad push since May to capture AOL-Time Warner's America Online defectors has brought its Internet access subscribers to 7 million in the U.S.; 60% of new subscribers to MSN come from AOL, according to Microsoft. AOL has 24 million users in the U.S.

Meanwhile, Microsoft's online magazine Slate debuts a redesign Oct. 25, launch day for Windows XP. The goal is to make Slate more accessible to advertisers and readers. "To make this a real business, we have to take care of both sets of customers," said Scott Moore, publisher.

Contributing: Catharine P. Taylor Read more: AdAge.com QwikFIND AAM67P.

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