Microsoft’s Liveliest Catch: Discovery or Yahoo?

Tonight, Microsoft’s ad team may be celebrating like drunken fisherman, and who could blame them? The Discovery Channel is running a giant one-day online and mobile advertising campaign today to promote the fifth season premiere of its popular series “Deadliest Catch.”

Microsoft beat Google and Yahoo in fishing for their important ad campaign win.

Discovery handed over the show’s entire online advertising budget to Microsoft, purchasing more than 90 percent of the software giant’s ad inventory owned on MSNBC, Fox Sports, MSN, MSN Mobile, and XBox LIVE.

Today’s campaign will include interactive over-the-page ads, DVR reminders, calendar updates, text alerts, and e-mails via the MSN and MSN Mobile homepages. It will also include Transitional Skin on MSN Video and MSNBC Video, search keywords on Live Search, a Deadliest Catch Text to Win Sweepstakes for Microsoft Points (two million points will be given away) on the Xbox LIVE platform, and targeted in-game ads, as well as ads on Windows Live Hotmail, Fox Sports, and MSNBC.

With reports that Yahoo is in discussions to partner on an ad deal with Microsoft, displaying prowess in advertising strength is a necessity. Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Yahoo’s discussions with Microsoft included the possibility of a joint advertising venture. The report intimated that Yahoo would take control of the company’s display advertising, while Microsoft would handle search advertising.