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Microsoft unveils content-based advertising for online videos

Microsoft's new digital advertising solutions use speech recognition technology to target videos according to the context

Microsoft Corporation has rolled out solutions for contextual ad targeting on the video content being streamed on the MSN platform. The features were revealed by Microsoft at its headquarters in the US, at the fourth annual adLabs Demo Fest. Contextual targeting allows relevant advertising to be placed according to content on a website. So far, this system has been successfully used in text ads and no clear solution exists for identifying the content in videos.

Microsoft's Contextual Ads for the video feature will enable targeted streaming of text ads based on what is being said in the video through speech recognition technology. Another feature, Intelligent Bug Ads, will place clickable ad frames within the video screen. The ad frames will be placed in the 'least unobtrusive' place in the video, ensuring the viewing experience is not affected by the ads.

Microsoft unveils content-based advertising for online videos
To ensure that no ads are being served in videos with sensitive content such as weapons, pornography or negative words, Microsoft has introduced a content detection feature, which will block ads from running in such videos.

“We believe the technical advances and intelligence that we are creating at adCenter Labs can change the game of online advertising. Solutions to today's challenges must be capable of handling and understanding the complexity of vast amounts of data,” says Tarek Najm, technical fellow at Microsoft, in a statement.

In India, Microsoft has been offering video advertising opportunities on the MSN India portal, Hotmail and MSN Messenger for over a year.

Speaking to agencyfaqs!, Rajnish, head, Microsoft Digital Advertising Solutions, India says, “The ad-targeting solutions on video content will be introduced in India in due course of time.”

Apart from contextual video advertising, Microsoft also rolled out features to help marketers with their search marketing campaigns. The company's visual product browsing solution will provide online shoppers conduct image search for products they have seen online. The image search feature will have an option to define the product characteristics such as height, depth and width. This feature can help marketers in understanding what online shoppers are looking for and refine their search keywords.

An ad solution called content analysis engine will help advertisers pick keywords for search marketing that are more relevant to their product category.

For interactive OOH advertising, Microsoft has developed a solution called Air Waves that will place ads on Microsoft Surface's touch screen feature to enable interactive marketing in areas like shopping malls and amusement parks. Surface is a 30-inch table top computer which responds to touch commands, and allows multiple people to work on it at a time.

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