• Microsoft Advertising
  • Technology

Defining a new future for Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising is a leading global digital advertising business. After years of quietly building a unique integrated multi-channel offering, they asked Moving Brands to help them tell a powerful new story—one that would create a sensation in the industry, change perceptions and attract new customers.   

Despite making headlines with its first-to-market move of launching a generative AI-powered search via its Bing platform, Microsoft Advertising needed:
• A distinctive brand platform that matched its ambition to redefine the adtech experience; 
• A visual identity that remained loyal to its parent (Microsoft) but also stood out to advertisers and publishers;
• Messaging and a campaign that championed Microsoft Advertising as a multi-format set of solutions for the industry, including display, search, mobile, video, native advertising and retail media;
• A rallying cry to inspire and unify existing and newly acquired businesses. 




Share this

Finding the essence

We went deep to understand Microsoft Advertising’s strategy, culture, customers and industry. We studied their competitors, out-of-category best-in-class examples and conducted interviews with internal teams, customers and stakeholders.  

Through our research, we identified the essence of Microsoft Advertising: Transformation. The essence was derived through the insight that they were constantly transforming to become the best version of themselves, unlock a world of new possibilities for their clients, change the advertising industry for the better, make the impossible possible and empower growth for all.  

With Transformation as the strategic core, we crafted a manifesto, positioning statement, brand pillars and purpose: “Innovate a new world of advertising possibilities to empower growth for all​.” Additionally, we delivered a brand and messaging platform as well as tone-of-voice guidelines.


Bringing Transformation to life

Working closely with the internal team, we developed an ownable visual system—creating a sub brand that was anchored to the Microsoft parent brand but showcased the individuality of Microsoft Advertising. 

We kept the four-color Microsoft logo and Segoe typeface. We then pulled colors out of the Microsoft palette and developed a non-centralized color system, enhanced with textures and unconventional hues. We anchored the visual identity to a three-piece graphic shape made of expanding sequential forms. These shapes communicated the essence of Transformation—the amplification of advertising, growth and endless possibilities.


Creating a buzz

To support the brand launch at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, we produced a film and creative ad units for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Financial Times (both print and digital). The results included:  

  • 9 in 10 executives surveyed recalled seeing Microsoft Advertising ads, well above research norms​ (WSJ);
  • Likelihood to recommend or buy services from Microsoft Advertising was up to 9 points higher than WSJ benchmarks​;
  • Large format custom units drove high attention and click engagement among a targeted pool of C-suite and senior executives​ (New York Times);
  • Bespoke targeting drove lifts in awareness and consideration over a short two-week flight (Financial Times).

In two weeks, the campaign saw over 6 million impressions in the US and UK. Results also included an uptick in revenue due to 967 key account creations and 200 performing accounts.


“We were facing a complex brand challenge as we sought to consolidate three recently acquired companies into the Microsoft Advertising brand structure and present a unified narrative to the market. After a comprehensive procurement process, we chose Moving Brands as our strategic partner for this project. 
From the beginning to the end, Moving Brands demonstrated excellence in their work. They not only delivered on time, but the way they worked with us was outstanding throughout the process. Moving Brands’ expertise, creativity and dedication were instrumental in helping us successfully meet our objectives.” 


Richard Oliver, Senior Brand Strategy Lead, Microsoft Advertising