I have a neutral perspective on Bing, but I found this difficult to watch. Readers of LiveSide noticed the $80million advertising campaign for Microsoft’s new
search decision engine has been published to Microsoft PressPass, and if nothing else it proves money doesn’t buy you anything these days.
The first thirty seconds of the ad is like an art student’s first thriller movie. There’s references to popular internet memes, the financial crisis, government bailouts, flashing words, the stock market, the housing market, national debt, fuel prices and bankruptcy. Then comes the flashing visuals of a bald man acting unnaturally and another man attached with many sensors on his head showing a mild case of insanity, some guys in metallic suits fighting, a human head bulging, explosions and another man attached to a device straight out of Total Recall. If you’ve not already switched off the video, the heart pounding visuals come to a rest with a guy dropping his suitcase in slow motion. Classy.
For the final 30-seconds home run, it’s a little more upbeat. Cue colorful and lively stock imagery. “Starting today, we need the right information to make the right decisions. Decisions to make us feel right, decisions that help us get to the right place, at the right time, even if it’s right around the corner. And we need to make decisions about what the right stuff is. Right now, it’s time for the one and only 100% engineered to cut through the crap decision engine. Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, it’s time to Bing and decide.”
And the thrill ride of W.T.F. comes to an end. The advertising agency says thanks for the bailout.
Update: A little more of my opinion if anyone’s interested, I get the “point” of the first 30 seconds – it’s to show me that there’s a lot of nonsense on the net and traditional search engines fail at finding “answers”, but I’m baffled at the visuals and story it conveys. I think there are less intimidating ways at delivering the same message.
The second 30 seconds of the ad does better at telling a story, but it feels like a story missing a few paragraphs. I’m told about decisions and the need to make the right decisions, but there’s no evidence Bing helps with making decisions, except being told it is a “decision engine”.
Update 2: Bing’s second and third ad appeals to me a lot more and seems to deliver more compelling reasons to stay away from traditional search engines. I understand they’re heavily constrained by time, but I think it would better if they spend a few seconds mentioning the benefits of Bing instead of leaving viewers with just a logo.