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MSN Backs Upgrade with $300 Million Campaign

14 Oct, 2002 By: Hive News

Microsoft Corp. today launched a $300 million U.S. marketing campaign for its MSN 8 Internet service, touting superior communications, browsing and online safety controls.

"We are investing $300 million to communicate with people about MSN 8 because we want consumers to know that finally there is a better alternative to the status quo when it comes to Internet services," said Yusuf Mehdi, vice president for MSN. "We believe when consumers compare MSN 8 with their existing service, MSN will win, hands down, because it allows consumers to communicate better, protect their family better and browse better than ever."

The company is also making the investment to ensure a tough competition with America Online, which is set to roll out its latest version with similar improvements.

Events today begin the countdown to the Oct. 24 launch of MSN 8 in the United States. MSN also announced its total monthly subscriptions reached 9 million in September.

The "it's better with the butterfly" campaign, which runs through mid-2003, is the largest ever for MSN.

According to a recent Harris Interactive Poll, three out of four Americans are not impressed with their current online service provider.

"We are kicking off our campaign in Superior [Wis.] today to let consumers know that we've heard their complaints about other Internet services and that we're confident MSN 8 is superior to any other Internet service on the market," said Bob Visse, director of MSN marketing at Microsoft. "MSN 8 gives consumers a reason to be enthusiastic about the promise of the Internet. Now people can expect less unwanted e-mail, more effective parental controls and a better overall browsing experience."

The marketing campaign includes broadcast, print, radio and online advertisements that show a rainbow assortment of MSN butterfly characters demonstrating how MSN 8 can resolve the biggest Internet frustrations for consumers.

In addition, Microsoft will launch its largest-ever online advertising push Oct. 24. The five-day online blitz for MSN 8 is designed to reach more than 90 percent of the available and active Internet audience.

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