Microsoft secures full ad break take-over in X Factor final to promote Cortana Unique Blipverts created by Dentsu Aegis Network and voiced by X Factor’s Peter Dickson link all ads together in full ad break take-over

13 December 2014: Microsoft is taking over the whole of the highly sought after centre ad break of the X Factor final, last year watched by 9.4 million individuals.

Dentsu Aegis Network, which negotiated the deal, has created and produced a set of short Blipverts that humorously and playfully link the ads in the break together. These are delivered by Peter Dickson, the legendary voice of the X Factor, one of the jewels in the TV crown. The Blipverts are designed to showcase the versatility of Cortana’s smart functionalities, highlighting how the voice-activated personal assistant can help users to organise day-to-day activities smoothly.

The Blipverts will appear in between the prime time ads from British Gas, Asda, Camelot and Littlewoods to link them together. These brands have been specially brought together to collaborate in this innovative campaign by Dentsu Aegis Network.

To drive interactivity and increase impact, Microsoft will deploy ITV’s Ad Sync technology, enabling Cortana to take over the X Factor app to promote an exciting competition and offer further product information and exclusive content. This will help Microsoft to tap into the X Factor’s young audience, renowned for its relentless second-screen activity, and enhance relevance and brand engagement.

The respective planning and broadcasting teams at Dentsu Aegis Network’s agencies, Carat and Vizeum, worked very closely to involve Littlewoods, Asda, British Gas and Camelot in this interactive campaign, meanwhile iProspect managed a wider social media plan to maximise brand engagement.

Toral Karia, Windows Phone Lead UK at Microsoft, said: “The X Factor final gives us the unique opportunity to connect with our always-on audience of cultural trendsetters at scale. This is a very exciting campaign designed to illustrate to our young audience just how smart artificial intelligence can help them manage everyday life seamlessly and keep them up to date on things they are interested in without loosing the human touch.”

Jon Waite, Associate Director at Amplifi, said: “To get something of this scale which involves so many different stakeholders off the ground is a great testament to the collaborative nature of the Dentsu Aegis Network, Microsoft, our forward thinking brands and ITV. Our in house Creative Solutions team worked closely with all of the brands to produce a break that will add real business value for everyone involved and create a great integrated story for the consumer”.

Carli Forrest, Creative Solutions at Carat UK, said: “This is an ambitious campaign which redefines the rules of traditional media buying. True collaboration was key in this strategy and is a great means to find creative and innovative solutions to brands’ and consumers’ needs in a convergent media landscape.” 


Media Contact

Josh Colley

External Communications Manager