Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on June 8th, 2009

Bing Advertising on Google AdWords

This morning I came across a rather interesting discovery: Microsoft’s Bing, the self-proclaimed “decision engine”, is advertising on Google Adwords. It came up as the first sponsored link when I googled “search engine”. This is a stroke of genius and small victory in Microsoft’s attempt at turning online surfers to the ‘Bing Side of the Search.’ It is commonly believed that Microsoft needs a small miracle to accomplished the not-so-small feat of successfully poaching a significant share of the search market.

That miracle should look something like what Macintosh’s Apple did to Microsoft in the computer battles. This begins with marketing, where Apple’s hip, creatively-savvy, fresh advertising with an attitude crippled the PC giant. Microsoft has now learned from being on the losing side what it takes to win in the perceptual branding category. They also know how much it hurts in the wallet, as well as the heart. Even their attempt to answer Apple’s outstanding ad campaign with the funny man, Jerry Seinfeld, didn’t quite work. Apple created a need for computer owners that Microsoft didn’t provide, a creative-friendly computer interface that allowed design and production for the right side of the brain. Microsoft was only providing cerebral satisfaction to the left half the brain. We all know what the doctor says about apples. We also know what Steve Jobs is saying about Apple’s as well.

Microsoft’s ‘Bing’ has branded it’s search engine as the ‘decision engine’, in doing so establishing itself as THE search engine that can recognize your problem and proactively find a solution. The differentiation is that Bing helps makes decisions easier, with a search that evolves and refines to an exact solution, where Google gives you a googillian random results that you have to sift through where most aren’t relevant. Their results might not be exactly relevant, because of the most relevant sites might not be the most optimized or spider-friendly.

The Bing commercials are a creative step towards establishing the need. They can be seen here. ‘Bing & Decide’ is Microsoft’s tag line for the next step in search. There are millions of users who now have to decide if switching to Bing is worth breaking their Google addiction or habit and creating a new one with Bing. It’s as easy as changing your browser’s landing page, or as hard as training your fingers to go for the ‘b’ instead of the ‘g’ on your keyboard. They are pretty close together...

As for Volacci, we are getting hip with the Bing. Our employees have been trying it out and the jury is still out. We applaud Microsoft on their move and their marketing campaign so far. When companies have such a large share of a market, they tend to get a little too relaxed and don’t keep their skills sharpened. If someone rang Scotty down in Google’s Engine Bay, I doubt that they were ‘givin’ it all she’s got’. Now that Bing is putting some ‘Badda’ into the next big thing for online engines, we may just see some very sharp skills being displayed in the months ahead.

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