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Microsoft Advertising Reels in Deadliest Catch, Partnering With Discovery Channel for Cross-Network Ad Buy


Discovery and Microsoft Advertising partner to launch three-screen campaign spanning mobile, Internet and gaming to capture fan base.

REDMOND, Wash.— Microsoft Advertising sets sail today with the announcement of a simultaneous three-screen ad campaign for the Discovery Channel “Deadliest Catch” television series. The advertising campaign, which spans MSN, MSN Mobile, Windows Live Hotmail, Microsoft Live Search and Xbox LIVE, is designed to drum up excitement for the premiere of the fifth season of the channel’s highly-rated reality series about crab fishing in the waters off Alaska.

Because of Microsoft Advertising’s comprehensive publisher portfolio and breadth of cross-network media properties, Discovery chose to devote the show’s entire online advertising budget to this campaign. The main advertising push will be happening across Microsoft’s Media Network on April 14, 2009, when the new season debuts at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the Discovery Channel. Discovery has purchased more than 90 percent of the advertising inventory owned on MSNBC, Fox Sports, MSN, MSN Mobile and Xbox LIVE for April 14 and will feature the first-ever home page conjunction takeover across MSN and MSN Mobile. The campaign will involve a variety of Microsoft-developed video, mobile and interactive media, as well as in-game advertising assets supported by Microsoft subsidiary Massive Inc. (

“The doors to our one-stop shop are open,” said Keith Lorizio, vice president of U.S. sales, Microsoft Advertising. “The Deadliest Catch campaign demonstrates how we are making it easier for customers to buy and integrate multiplatform digital campaigns. In partnership with just one publisher, advertisers reach a targetable, premium online audience where they consume digital content most — PC, mobile and TV screens.”

“Microsoft Advertising got it right on the first try,” said Danelle Sabathier, director, Digital Media Marketing, Discovery Networks. “They showed us they have the audience reach, resources and original content at their fingertips to create killer ad campaigns that have the potential to drive buzz and excitement, which is exactly what we were looking for the fifth season of our hit show. We are thrilled with the level of service our team received and how simple the process was.”

Drawing upon its technical expertise, Microsoft Advertising simultaneously weaves together Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” campaign and divides it into seven distinct audience engagement scenarios:

• MSN Home Page. On the day of the premiere, April 14, Discovery will reach MSN’s expansive audience base of more than 550 million unique users worldwide by executing a home page takeover using rich, interactive over-the-page ads. This custom execution is being developed by Microsoft’s Premier Media Group and will accomplish several firsts on the MSN home page, such as setting DVR reminders for fans, updating their calendar, and sending text alerts and e-mails.

• MSN Video and MSNBC Video. Throughout the life of the campaign, the “Deadliest Catch” will take advantage of MSN Video’s Entertainment and Sports channels, which own nearly 40 percent of MSN’s video audience. Discovery will run another custom execution called a Transitional Skin on the MSNBC video player, the first time an entertainment advertiser has taken advantage of this unique opportunity.

• MSN Mobile. On April 14, Discovery will execute an MSN Mobile home page takeover in conjunction with the MSN home page takeover. In addition, Microsoft subsidiary ScreenTonic ( created a mobile Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) site that utilizes the Microsoft Advertising mobile platform. Viewers will be able to interact with the WAP site and enter their cell phone numbers to receive tune-in reminders for the show via text message. Standard messaging and carrier charges apply.

• Xbox LIVE. The “Deadliest Catch” campaign will be running a number of click-to-video executions across the Xbox LIVE platform with a call-to-action Deadliest Catch Text to Win Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes provides viewers with a specific mobile SMS code to text for a chance to win Microsoft Points that can be used to buy games, movies and television shows through the on-demand service. Discovery plans to give away 2 million Microsoft Points to an expected 5,000 winners during a four-day period. In conjunction with this campaign, Discovery will run long-form video teasers to excite the Xbox audience about tuning in to the season premiere. Full details including free, alternate methods of entry and official rules are available at

• Massive. Using the Massive in-game advertising platform, Discovery is placing targeted ads throughout the experience to capture users at peak gaming time, with a focus on games played by audiences who embrace an edgy, fast-paced lifestyle: Ubisoft’s “Shaun White Snowboarding” and “Rainbow Six Vegas 2,” and Electronic Arts’ “Skate 2,” Madden 09, “Mercenaries 2,” “Need for Speed Undercover” and “NHL 09.” These ad units will also include the SMS codes for the Deadliest Catch Text to Win Sweepstakes.

• Windows Live Hotmail. Windows Live Hotmail will feature demographically targeted ads to coincide with the Fox Sports and MSNBC ad placements.

• Live Search. To round out its ad buy, Discovery is taking advantage of Microsoft Advertising’s adCenter platform and purchasing search keywords to help drive awareness to the newest season of “Deadliest Catch.”

Microsoft will also participate in the first-ever CatchCon event — a “Deadliest Catch” one-day fan festival being held at the Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle, on April 25. The event will include an Xbox lounge featuring Greenwave’s “Deadliest Catch Alaskan Storm” video game for Xbox 360.


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