In February, Outlook.com came out of preview with more than 60 million consumers actively using the new e-mail service, making it the fastest growing e-mail service in history. The new e-mail service from Microsoft is optimized for modern browsers and devices, with a sleek interface and powerful, innovative features. Given its rapid rate of adoption, it’s clear that the fresh and intuitive design of Outlook.com hits the mark with consumers. Similarly, we have applied our consumer-first design philosophy when creating fresh advertising experiences in Outlook.com.
In keeping with that philosophy, today I am happy to announce the availability of versaTiles in Outlook.com.
The new advertising format – currently being sold in Brazil and the US, with availability in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, and the UK coming soon – consists of flexible sized tile strips that give brands the opportunity to engage in deep storytelling. They’re built with the same modern design philosophy to ensure people using Outlook.com have a great experience and see ads in places that can enrich their mail experience, not deter from it.
versaTiles also provide a valuable surface area for advertisers to deliver relevant content in scenarios where people expect and look for commercial content. Currently, versaTiles offers advertisers three customizable templates to choose from to help tailor ads to meet specific campaign objectives. But first, here is what versaTiles look like:
As I mentioned above, we have created ads experience that we believe will fit any advertisers’ needs – no matter what vertical. Here is a list of the three customizable templates versaTiles currently offers 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.
As you can see from the above, a versaTiles strip consists of four or five tiles that sit along the right side of the Outlook.com page. versaTiles help put the consumer in the driver seat by offering three different ways to engage with the ad, including:
- Default state (below left image): Consumers see the Default state as they login to Outlook.com. For example, an advertiser can choose to render displaying the tiles with their logo in the top tile and text with more information in the subsequent tiles.
- Hover state (below middle image): Consumers can view more in-depth information and see additional images/information if they hover over the tiles.
- Click state (below right image): Consumers will only see each tile’s Click state if they click on that tile. The ad content will then expand to the left to show different creative elements and brand messaging depending on the ad template chosen by the advertiser.
versaTiles 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.
Jennifer Creegan – General Manager for Display Advertising Experiences at Microsoft Advertising.