Introducing former Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) entertainment exec Lloyd Braun, Rick Song, senior director, eastern US sales for Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT), said there would be a Yahoo reunion after the presentation. Braun, the co-owner of BermanBraun, picked up from former Yahoo colleague Scott Moore's earlier pitch for MSN's entertainment channel Wonderwall at Microsoft's Digital Showcase.
Braun invoked Yahoo a few times, though often obliquely and not in a positive way. "Wonderwall is the next step in online entertainment. It's What we would have done at [the Yahoo's celeb site] OMG.
Different experience: Braun tried to differentiate Wonderwall from similar web creations in the past. "Two or three years ago, I was at an internet company that shall remain nameless. They were showing a brand new project, and there were margins on the pages. I asked a stupid question: "How come there are margins on our pages? It was as if I were at ABC and we only used a part of the screen. Why can't we use the whole monitor? There was a long pause. Finally, someone spoke up. 'Can someone please answer the man's question? The answer: 'That's how we always did it.' With Wonderwall, we've questioned that. We make full use of the whole screen. The point is, we have never been challenged when we suggested some innovation. That shouldn't be surprising, but it is."
No snark: "We don't want a site that has snark. Advertisers certainly don't want snark. Wonderwall is a site that you don't have to take a shower after you've read it. Advertisers want no part of that. We've been up three months, we've never had a complaint from an advertisers, an actor or an agent. We're proud of that."
Oop: Talking about Wonderwall's mobile plans, Braun accidentally touted Apple's iPhone, which elicited some laughter from the audience. "Oh no, I said the i-word, Scott." He recovered and went back on message: "I should say that if you're talking about MSN, it looks great on a smartphone."
By David Kaplan