Alan Perkins

Alan Perkins

11th March 2010

Not Impressed By Microsoft's New Bing Ad

Microsoft launched their new Bing ad on television last night.

My first impressions were that the ad is too negative. It doesn't show what Bing can do for you. It's at risk of associating Bing with information overload and distressed searchers. I'm also not convinced the phrase "decision engine" is a good one - too techie, too nebulous. Who's making the decisions - me, or Bing?

Compare it with Google's Superbowl ad:

This has its own potential problems - I'm not sure I would have been brave enough to use no voiceover whatsoever on a TV ad running in a £60,000 per second timeslot - but in general it's a much more upbeat ad showing someone achieving something - lots of things - using Google Search.

In Microsoft's position, I think I'd accept the fact that lots of people use Google and get good results lots of the time, and show that Bing is an alternative that often succeeds when Google fails. I'd challenge the notion that Google always delivers the right result, every time, and that if Google doesn't deliver it it can't be on the Web. I'd get people to try Bing - that's all you can ask of the ad. An idea would be to use something based on the famous "Pepsi Challenge", but bring it right up to date.

Having seen the interview with Ashley Highfield, I'm looking forward to more ads in the series. It would be great to see Bing achieve the double digit market share that he desires, but I think this was a bad start to the campaign.

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