MSN India is mapping out new roads in its marketing plan. This includes hitting cyber cafes to encourage new users and selling advertising space on MSN Messenger and its free blogging service - MSN Spaces.
The company had recently tied with EMI Virgin Music to release two versions of MSN Messenger Groove music CDs, which were distributed free across 200 cyber cafes in Bangalore for every new sign-up.
MSN India plans to take this programme to 1,000 cyber cafés across top five cities as part of its category expansion initiatives.
The MSN India site draws 25 million Indian users.
"Around 40 per cent of user access happens through cyber cafés. The idea is that since we train the cafe owners, they can easily merchandise MSN products to people frequenting the cafes," Mr Krishna Prasad, Head of Programming, MSN India, told Business Line.
The company has lined up a host of options for the advertiser fraternity such as personalised pages through MSN Today or a free blogspot service such as MSN Spaces.
The theme pack for the latest version of MSN Messenger offers several branding opportunities — in the background of a conversation window, an image that a user can select for their personal user tile and themed emoticons.
"Messenger advertising is different; it enables focused marketing. For most of us, what we are is because of our friends and family. The insight to stay in touch with them, when married, with product offerings makes a great opportunity," Mr Prasad said.