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Microsoft Launches “versaTiles” Ad Format for Outlook.com

Microsoft’s new modern email service Outlook.com, is now used by more than 60 million consumers–today, gets fresh advertising experiences dubbed “versaTiles.”

Based on, company’s consumer-first design philosophy, the new “versaTiles in Outlook.com” advertising format – consists of flexible sized tile strips of four or five tiles that sit along the right side of the Outlook.com page and that give brands the opportunity to engage in deep storytelling.:

The new ad format is currently being sold in Brazil and the US, and Microsoft says, that it will soon coming to Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.

versaTiles also provide a valuable surface area for advertisers to deliver relevant content in scenarios where people expect and look for commercial content.

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.

versaTiles offer following different ways to consumers to engage with the ad:

  • 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.

But first, here is what versaTiles look like:

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