Women to Watch 2007

Gayle Troberman

Microsoft Corp.

By Published on .

NEXT: Kathy Savitt

It's a brand marketer's dream. MSN's Gayle Troberman has an enormous audience at her disposal -- 465 million unique users per month -- and she's offering them up to brands.

Gayle Troberman, global general manager-branded entertainment, MSN, Microsoft Corp.

As global general manager-branded entertainment for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN portal, Ms. Troberman is helping marketers launch new (and mostly entertaining) online destinations. Brands are targeting niche audiences across MSN's network of websites.

"Anything is possible, and [marketers] should follow the consumer to where they're spending time and interacting with content," says Ms. Troberman, 41. Marketers including Coca-Cola Co., Procter & Gamble Co., Ford Motor Co., American Express Co. and Visa USA have already taken her advice.

For example, her team recently launched "In the Motherhood," an online screenwriting competition for moms sponsored by Sprint and Unilever's Suave. Infiniti's "Open for Design" is an online magazine of sorts that explores all facets of design, not just that of parent Nissan North America.

Ms. Troberman also brokered a deal with producer Ben Silverman ("The Office," "Ugly Betty") to create a slate of brand-backed web series called "MSN Originals." These have included a cooking show for Kraft Foods titled "Chef to the Rescue," which is going into a second season, and "Driving School," a comedy for Volvo. Travel series "The Good Life," for whiskey marketer Chivas Bros., is upcoming.

MSN's branded-entertainment maven "is doing a tremendous job of triangulating Hollywood, Madison Avenue and the web," says Mr. Silverman, CEO of TV production company Reveille and at deadline expected to be named to the top post at NBC Entertainment. Ms. Troberman adds: "Now the big challenge is how to efficiently target [consumers] and engage them with the right experience."
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