Canada is the fifth country in which AdCenter has been launched. They honed the product first in France and Singapore, followed by the U.S. and U.K. last year.

Barry and I (along with 300? others) attended the launch at an event in Toronto this afternoon. I am just back to Montreal in time to squeak in this post before midnight.

David Jakubowski, general manager, Microsoft AdCenter made the trip up from the US to speak – we happened to meet his dad (a nice guy) from Buffalo who was up for the launch and tonight’s hockey game Buffalo (6) vs. Leafs (1) so no doubt will go home happy – about the rosy future of AdCenter for Microsoft and it’s advertisers.

However there was no talk about how MSN would increase market share where according to November’s comScore Media Metrix, Google sites represented 76.3% of all searches performed in Canada, followed by MSN sites with 9.9% and Yahoo at 9.6%.

In the present, today MSN reported conversion rates on AdCenter over 50% higher than Google and Yahoo based on beta tests in 4 Industries. Impressive.

Traffic is low on MSN Canada so rates are low too, and MSN says you can sign up for an account in only 5 minutes so get going (on Yahoo Canada too) while the getting is good!

Big news is AdCenter’s demographic targeting capabilities (based on data from sources such as MSN Messenger and Hotmail account profiles) whose data lets advertisers refine their campaigns by targeting online Canadians by age and gender, as well as by region and time of day.

(TIP: Time zones and hence “Time of day” for non-premium advertisers is linked to where the advertiser’s place of business is, so if you want to reach searchers in BC between 8PM and 10PM you need to indicate the time zone it at the campaign level or you will miss them completely.)

For more info: http://adcentercanada.ca/en/default.aspx

Have a great (rest of the) day, Greg