Microsoft Advertising launches Global Creative Storytelling Contest

Microsoft today announced the launch of a creative storytelling contest – The Microsoft Advertising Story Awards (MSAs) – which invites marketers from 30 countries across the world including India to submit a campaign idea for a brand or nonprofit of their choice using Microsoft Advertising’s storytelling platforms.

Marketers are asked to submit a hypothetical digital media plan and creative idea for the brand or nonprofit of their choice that addresses a ‘key business challenge’ for that organization’s 2012 or 2013 calendar year. Unlike other industry award competitions, this contest does not judge work that has already been executed. Instead, it challenges marketers across the globe to tell a brand’s story using Microsoft Advertising technology and solutions – including MSN, Mobile, Windows Live, Xbox, Messenger, and more – to solve real marketing challenges. The judging panel for India comprises industry’s leading names including: Anita Varma, Director, Digital Driftwood Pvt. Ltd.; Florist Van Hjeist, General Manager – Marketing & Operations at Microsoft Corp. (India) Pvt. Ltd.; Pradyuman Maheshwari, Editor-in-Chief and CEO, MxMIndia, Shantanu Sirohi, Chief Operating Officer – Interactive Avenues; Tushar Vyas, Managing Partner-South Asia – Group M. Split into two stages- a local heat followed by a global final, last date for submission of local entries is March 31, 2012. The winner of the India competition will advance to the global finals where two global winners will be crowned with the Global Microsoft Advertising Story Award for 2012. The winners will also be awarded an exclusive VIP trip as Microsoft Advertising’s guests to the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity 2012 taking place from 17-23 June in Cannes, France. Announcing the awards, Neville Taraporewalla, Country Director, Advertising and Online, Microsoft India Pvt. Ltd. said, “At Microsoft Advertising, we have initiated this unique contest to highlight the wider focus of the business, which is to help brands step back from the clutter, and put storytelling back at the heart of marketing. We strive towards providing an International platform to the enormous amount of talent residing in India and are confident that entries from India will be innovative and engaging.” Asked why this competition is unique, David Sable, Global Chief Executive Officer, Y&R, said, “Within the industry there are a number of renowned awards that celebrate the success of existing campaigns, but that’s not what this contest is about. Rather it is all about inspiring digital marketers to take their discipline back to its roots by developing fresh ideas that focus on reaching a target audience with a powerful story. We encourage anyone with a knack for great storytelling and a creative brain to pair up and throw their hat into the ring.”  The judges have been selected based on their professional prowess and knowledge of storytelling around the world. David Sable, Global CEO at Y&R will chair the global judging panel, which will also include Maria Luisa Francoli Plaza, Global CEO of MPG and Havas Media North America. Microsoft Advertising created a short video starring Felicia Day, actress and creator of ‘The Guild’ web series to help brands better understand the advertising opportunities available to them when creating their entries for the contest. For more information on how to enter the competition, check out the Microsoft Advertising Story Awards website. To register for the Contest click here