I think we have all seen our fair share of advertisements, and most of which are pretty repetitive. It doesn’t matter anymore whether you’re trying to shoot a monkey or catch the burglar, the fact is this type of Fash ads are on the way out and something else needs to be making its way in.

MSN with Office 2007 Ad
Click to Enlarge

The advertisement that Microsoft is currently showing on the MSN homepage is undoubtedly the best one that I have ever seen. The ad (pictured above) provides an interactive demonstration of a few features…most notably the live preview. You can switch between the Home and Format tabs, both of which allow you to instantly change the style on a portion of the website.

The Home tab is setup so that you can hover over a font style and it will instantly change the font of the category listing on that page. On the format tab you can instantly hover over a few of the image styles and it will instantly change the style of the image pointed to in the screenshot above.

After I tinkered around with it a little bit I began looking for an announcement on this somewhere. I eventually found something on the MSN site which explained what was going on:

During one 24-hour period, MSN embarks on its initial foray into an interactive ad experience that enables users to preview and manipulate the fonts and pictures on the MSN.com homepage just like products in the new Microsoft Office suite, such as Word and PowerPoint.

This effort is tied to an April advertising campaign that provides Microsoft a twofold opportunity: promoting a major software upgrade; and allowing MSN’s advertising team a new level of creativity, complexity and interactivity with an in-the-family advertiser.

The ad utilizes Flash technologies to make it all work so smoothly, so you will need Flash installed in order to play with the demo. Now I am wondering whether this is the future for advertisements? Do people overlook the standard ads so much now that they are actually trying to draw in the users enough so that they participate with the ads? I’m not sure what this all means, but it is surely impressive!

Remember, this is only running for 24–hours on the MSN homepage so you need to go check it out now if you want to see it.