Microsoft adCenter Labs Unveils Digital Advertising Innovations at Fourth Annual Demo Fest

Team demonstrates progress of existing marketing tools to help digital advertising become more efficient and relevant.

REDMOND, Wash., Feb. 5 / - Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a series of next-generation digital advertising technologies at its fourth annual Demo Fest, an event that showcases some of the leading-edge technologies in development by Microsoft adCenter Labs ( The technologies highlighted at this event included the latest advances and algorithms in content analysis and computer vision for video and images, speech recognition for contextual video ads, and advanced marketing intelligence that enable enhanced audience insight and better targeting capabilities for advertisers.

"We believe the technical advances and intelligence we are creating at adCenter Labs can change the game of online advertising," said Tarek Najm, technical fellow at Microsoft. "Solutions to today's challenges must be capable of handling and understanding the complexity of vast amounts of data. To address that challenge, we are developing advertising algorithms that can anticipate and understand consumer behavior faster than the speed of thought, so that we can help advertisers create more efficient and relevant user experiences."

The following seven demos were shown at today's event:
o Air Wave. This technology creates a "fourth screen" experience beyond
the TV, PC and mobile phone to enable advertisers to engage consumers
outside of the home in public places such as an airport or a shopping
mall. By using an interactive, multitouch screen display, consumers
can play games or interact with advertisements to receive coupons or
product information. With the help of a webcam, they can try on
products such as sunglasses virtually. This technology builds on the
"large display ads" technology showcased at last year's Demo Fest.
o Contextual Ads for Video. Through speech recognition, this technology
enables ads to be dynamically served based on the content discussed in
the video. For example, if the topic of the video was gardening, ads
related to gardening or lawn improvement could be served in an
adjacent text-based ad as the video played. For advertisers, this
provides access to consumers while at the point of consideration.
o Intelligent Bug Ads. This technology balances the interests of
advertisers and the target audience by locating nonintrusive frames in
a video in which to place ads. By using a computer vision algorithm to
calculate the least intrusive spot in the video, it approximates human
judgment and places the ad in the video where it is least likely to
interfere with the consumer's viewing experience.
o Visual Product Browsing. This tool uses computer vision algorithms to
browse and categorize images as a human might, without the need for
manual data tagging. Online shoppers could use this technology to
visually browse categorized images of products such as lamps and
narrow their search to find "more like this" options through physical
and visual characteristics such as the product's height, depth and
width. This brings efficiency to photo browsing and enhanced targeting
capabilities for advertisers who are trying to better understand user
intent and preferences.
o Content Analysis Engine. This technology uses advanced algorithms to
automatically extract and categorize information from search queries
and Web page contents to better understand user intent and minimize
search engine marketing complexity. Search engine marketers can use
this technology to discover valuable keywords relevant to their
category or to bid on categories, such as digital cameras, instead of
managing each individual keyword associated with a category.
Categorization also helps publishers more effectively monetize their
advertising inventory by opening up additional contextual content
opportunities deeper into their content pages.
o Content Detection in Sub-documents. This technology identifies
sensitive or unsuitable content such as pornography, weapons or
negative sentiments that advertisers would not likely want to be
associated with, and automatically blocks contextual ads related to
that content. Microsoft is building on "whole-page content detection,"
shown at last year's Demo Fest, to respect users' sensitivities and
advertisers' brands and images. This year the adCenter Labs team took
it one step further by analyzing individual sections of a complex Web
page, such as the MSN home page, and only serving contextual ads that
relate to nonsensitive content.
o Ad Research Dashboard. The dashboard builds on the success of the
Keyword Services Platform (KSP) introduced at Demo Fest last year. It
is a flexible and central place within adCenter that provides
marketers with access to analytics and advanced algorithms that are
tied to actual data sets from adCenter to help them maximize the
effectiveness of their search marketing campaigns. The dashboard
builds on Microsoft's commitment to provide advertisers and agencies
with as much data transparency as possible to help them to make more
informed decisions about their search marketing campaigns.

"The ultimate marketing objective is to find a sweet spot where you connect with a consumer on their terms," said Jeffrey Pruitt, executive vice president of Corporate Partnerships for iCrossing and president of the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO). "The insights and research that are coming out of Microsoft's adCenter Labs help provide agencies and advertisers with smarter, more relevant online advertising technologies and tools to make informed decisions on those connection points."

About Microsoft Advertiser & Publisher Solutions
Microsoft Advertiser & Publisher Solutions (APS) provides world-class advertising platforms and tools for advertisers, agencies and publishers. Its mission is to make buying and selling media simpler, smarter and more cost-effective across media and devices in the Microsoft network of properties and beyond. The APS portfolio includes Microsoft adCenter, Atlas, DRIVEpm, Massive and ScreenTonic. APS businesses span search, display and emerging media including mobile, gaming, video on demand and IPTV. More information can be found at

About Microsoft
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Source: Microsoft Corp.

CONTACT: The Red Consultancy, +1-212-529-7700,, for Microsoft Corp.

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