MSN announces new deal with Specsavers

MSN.co.uk, the UK’s number one website, today announced an exclusive advertising deal, which will see a complete transformation of the MSN UK Homepage by Specsavers, the UK’s most trusted opticians. The media-first deal was initiated and brokered by digital agency i-level.

On Monday 26 September, for one day only, Specsavers will takeover and completely transform the entire MSN Homepage. Users will see a completely blacked out screen with a single light switch that illuminates to reveal the Specsavers marketing message. This will be supported by additional targeted activity on MSN Messenger and MSN Hotmail from 27 September for two weeks until 9 October.

Mark Trustum, Website Development Manager for Specsavers said; “MSN has given us a unique opportunity to communicate to our customers in a creative and original way, we are confident the campaign will achieve our objectives.”

i-level was briefed to find a broad-reach, high-impact solution to launch Specsavers Clear Price campaign – which allows consumers to understand the total price of their glasses, and not be confused by the myriad of options which impacts on price, including different lenses and frames. The campaign is designed to reinforce Specsavers as an honest and trustworthy optician. i-level chose MSN for its unrivalled demographic audience, particularly the over-35 target group. MSN has offered a guaranteed minimum number of ad impressions on the day of the takeover.

Amanda Anthony, Digital Marketing Manager, MSN.co.uk said: “This campaign highlights how MSN can provide creative and innovative ideas and tailored solutions for their advertisers. One of Specsavers’ core objectives was to produce a maximum impact campaign to stand out from the advertising clutter.’

Sarah Stew, Account Manager at i-level added, “We were looking for an innovative way to communicate Specsavers’ Clear Price Policy; and we felt MSN offered Specsavers perfect coverage of their target audience as well a media first execution”.

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For further information, please contact:
Ruth Thomas, MSN - 020 7026 6437 ruth.thomas@redconsultancy.com

Kate Gillman, MSN - 020 7025 6523 kate.gillman@redconsultancy.com
Lorette Nettar, i-level - 07968 521 684
lorette.nettar@i-level.com

About MSN.co.uk

MSN is a division of the Microsoft Corporation

MSN is the UK’s largest portal attracting over 15.5 million visitors per month in the UK (Nielsen//NetRatings July 2005) and more than 420 million unique users worldwide (MSN Internal Data). Owned by Microsoft, MSN is available in 41 markets and 21 languages.

MSN offers a wide range of Subscription products including Hotmail Plus and MSN Premium with state of the art parental controls, spam filtering software and photo editing tools.

MSN provides a number of world class innovative communication and information services including:

· MSN Hotmail, the UK's most popular free web-based e-mail service with over 7.9 million users in the UK (Nielsen//NetRatings July 2005) and over 190 million active accounts worldwide (MSN Internal Data)

· MSN Messenger, the UK's number one instant messaging service on the internet with 8.9 million monthly users (Nielsen//NetRatings July 2005) and over 155 million active users worldwide (MSN Internal data)

· MSN Search, one of the UK’s top search sites with 5.7 million users. (Nielsen//NetRatings July 2005). MSN Search is available in 32 markets worldwide and 14 languages. MSN Toolbar is available in 47 markets with 53 million installed worldwide.

About i-level:

i-level launched in April 1999, and is Europe’s largest independent online media buyer. It is a digital marketing company, specialising in media planning and buying on the internet, email and mobile devices. The agency’s clients include the centralised account for Central Office of Information (COI), as well as Specsavers, Orange, BBC, BSkyB, smile, Yell.com, William Hill, Interflora and James Villas. i-level has 70 full time staff, its billings for 2004 was £30m. www.i-level.com

Published on: 12:00AM on 21st September 2005