New agency, new name and a ton of cash for Microsoft's new search

Posted by Mario Sgambelluri on May 26th, 2009 at 12:00 am

Following last week's speculation, it looks like Microsoft is launching their new search engine as "Bing." (Ad Age) Originally, the creature was know as "Kumo." The new name sounds less like a big, terrifying Godzilla monster, and more like a fun, nimble startup. But we all know what Google does to search start ups. (Where are you now, Cuil? Powerset? What about Wikipedia's Amazon's A9?)

Hoping to avoid the fate of challengers past, Microsoft is (kind of) going after Google with an $80 - $100 million ad campaign. (Ad Age) That's huge. Real huge. According to Ad Age, $50 million is typical for a national product launch. And Google only spends $25 million per year on advertising.

In an interesting twist, Microsoft "eschewed long-time ad partner McCann Erickson" in favor of JWT to lead the Bing campaign. (NY Post)

While the (online, TV, print and radio) campaign "won't go after Google by name," the goal is "planting the idea that today's search engines don't work." (Ad Age)

Skeptical? Note: Microsoft's ($300 million, Crispin Porter + Bogusky) campaign against Mac is working.

If web browsers and advertisers give Bing a shot, here's what they might expect (MediaPost)…

  • Improved relevancy of search results
  • Better natural language search (remember, Microsoft acquired semantic search darling Powerset last year for around $100 million)
  • Search result filtering options
  • Deep search tools (i.e., a list of relevant searches, a list of accessories for a searched product)
  • Ads "seem to blend more with the content"

Wondering what Bing's logo will look like? Techcrunch may have stumbled upon it by accident. It looks uncomfortably close to Blinkx's logo.

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