This week we are proud and excited to release the first advertising opportunity on Outlook.com in the UK – versaTiles.
Having migrated all Hotmail users to a much cleaner, faster, more secure mail service with much greater functionality in Outlook.com by April, it was important for us to make sure the advertising complemented the user experience. We saw this as an opportunity to move the advertising landscape forward, to move away from the high volume Hotmail banners that eventually created so much ad blindness and to adopt a new consumer-first design to the advertising.
versaTiles are a native ad format running exclusively on Outlook.com that integrates seamlessly with the infrastructure of the page. You can see this in the image below – the default state. It does this whilst offering a premium advertising experience with multiple opportunities to engage and explore.
Combining rich imagery, video and product information, it is an ad that allows advertisers the chance to show off a wide range of their assets, all in one place. There are three different templates available for advertisers:
- Online Retailer: Allows the advertiser to capture consumers’ attention, and showcase a product or a service, and then connect the consumer to the advertiser’s online distributors. From a consumer standpoint, this template enables them to locate brick and mortar retail outlets in their area, alongside viewing and discovering product or service details within the tile experience.
- Media Showcase: Gives a unique ad experience to get a brand’s message conveyed by using a combination of video, image galleries and text. The template is applicable to multiple verticals aiming at building awareness and consumer engagement.
- Catalogue: Applies to campaigns that feature multiple products. The first tile shows the theme of the campaign and the others feature different products in an engaging way to build consumer interest to learn more.
To make sure that we keep the advertising relevant to the user and as complementary an experience as possible, versaTiles come with one level of profile or behavioural targeting as standard and with 16m unique users per month, making Outlook.com the UK’s largest email provider, the scale of the opportunity is huge to reach your target audience and invite them to interact with your brand.
versaTiles are an important step in the development of our advertising portfolio and are another example of how Microsoft Advertising continues to deliver innovative, rich advertising experiences for advertisers to creatively tell their brand stories, while providing the best experience possible for consumers.