MSN Spaces/Volvo Deal Shows Big Blog Advertisers Crave Safety

    April 7, 2005

Microsoft and Volvo today announced that the car company is now advertising on the MSN Spaces blogging platform. The new campaign includes a micro site that enables consumers to find interesting content within the MSN community.

The Volvo/MSN Spaces Announcement

In addition it features the placement of small Volvo text links with graphics are on top of users’ personal Spaces. This is not Volvo’s first foray into blog advertising. The company already sponsors Weblogs Inc.’s Autoblog podcast.

This deal has major ramifications for the short-term future of blog advertising. There now appears to be three distinct groups of blog advertisers forming.

The first group are the mass marketers. This group craves safety, as the Wall Street Journal noted last month. They are skittish about advertising on blogs. As a result, they will gravitate towards teaming with the larger players when it comes to experimenting with the medium. This will include partnering with the platforms – such as MSN Spaces, Yahoo! 360, TypePad and Blogger – as well buying space on the “big three” blog networks, Gawker Media, Weblogs Inc. and Corante.

The second group of blog advertisers are the “mid-market” marketers. These advertisers will will likely feel comfortable purchasing ads on specialized networks like BlogAds.

Finally, the last category – perhaps the largest in number – are the smaller blog advertisers. The majority of these companies will either strike one-off deals with individual bloggers or use Google and Overture to advertise across blogs.

See the microsite Steve refers to.

Steve Rubel is a PR strategist with nearly 16 years of public relations, marketing, journalism and communications experience. He currently serves as a Senior Vice President with Edelman, the largest independent global PR firm.

He authors the Micro Persuasion weblog, which tracks how blogs and participatory journalism are changing the public relations practice.