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Microsoft Gives Advertisers Access to Celebrity Endorsements

Partners with Brand Affinity Technologies

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Microsoft Advertising has teamed up with Brand Affinity Technologies to give advertisers access to athlete and celebrity endorsements. The companies claim this is a way for businesses of "all sizes and budgets" to increase brand performance with their online campaigns.

Celebrity endorsements often work not necessarily because consumers believe that the celebrities use the product exclusively, but because they are familiar faces and capture the attention. According to NPD Group Research, less than 1% of images consumers see daily (30 of 3,156) reach conscious behavior. You need to stand out.

Sidenote: Speaking of standing out, check out this interview with Technorati CEO Richard Jalichandra on standing out in the digital age:

"Historically, endorsements were only obtainable for the largest advertisers and a handful of celebrities and athletes,” says Brand Affinity CEO Ryan Steelberg. "Now, it is easy for national and local advertisers and talent alike to benefit from the recognition and passion that consumers have for their favorite athletes and stars."

"For example, advertisers can quickly capitalize on the proven power of endorsement marketing by targeting locally and using celebrity association both pre- and post-click," adds Steelberg. "These are opportunities that can only be achieved in scale online, and the relationship with Microsoft Advertising and its valued network of partners is one of the ways we will open this new market of online endorsement advertising to advertisers of all sizes."

Brand Affinity provides a video looking at is platform here, which shows athlete names like Brandon Jacobs, Drew Brees, Matt Cassel, Ahman Green, Brooks Robinson, Robert Horry, etc. They claim to have access to "thousands of the leading athletes and celebrities." Here’s another short promo featuring Cincinnati Bengals Quarterback Carson Palmer:

According to the announcement of the partnership, in early beta tests, BAT-enabled campaigns delivered an average of 13.5 times advertisers’ typical conversion rates and, on average, 3.5 times advertisers’ typical click-through rates. The campaigns also drove every tested brand metric including awareness, association, favorability and intent.

"It’s a perfect match – advertisers can quickly create star-studded campaigns that help improve online ad performance, while Microsoft helps connect them with audiences who seek new ways to associate with their favorite celebrities," says Keith Lorizio, VP of US advertising sales for Microsoft Advertising.

It should be noted that Microsoft is only the first publisher portal that Brand Affinity is using, leading one to believe that others are in the cards. Could Google  for example be in the mix for this at some point?

Microsoft Gives Advertisers Access to Celebrity Endorsements
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