Microsoft Premieres Their Bing Television Commercial

By Craig Buckler
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BingAs part of the company’s $100 marketing push, Microsoft has started showing Bing search engine commercials on television in the US. The video is likely to appear in other countries as Bing’s localization effort progresses, but if you’re yet to see it…

At just over 1 minute, the commercial is very much style over substance. It’s flashy, fast, fashionable and warns that people aren’t searching – they’re bailing. Apparently, we’re all “lost in the links”. We don’t need queries and keywords that just lead to further questions – we need a decision engine.

Of course, the advert doesn’t actually tell us anything. Why does the company consider my previous searching experiences to be so flawed? What does Bing do? Why should use it? However, this air of mystery will tempt many people to trying Bing and that’s what Microsoft needs. Feedback about the search engine (sorry, decision engine) has been largely positive, but the project will only succeed if the company can persuade people to switch from Google and Yahoo.

Interestingly, there is just the briefest mention of Microsoft itself; their logo appears in the bottom-right corner during the last two seconds of the advert. Blink and you’ll miss it.

If you had not already used Bing would this commercial encourage you to do so? Has the company purposely downplaying the Microsoft brand? Does television advertising work for web sites?

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  • sitesbycal

    It’s a cute little commercial, the problem is will bing deliver? I think that bing and the advertising talks a good game but if users go there and don’t find anything worth value, they’ll go right back to the big G. Unfortunately Microsoft (among other companies) seems to have lost it’s way as far as providing value. They now tend to focus on cute jingles and ad dollars and not on value. If they focused on making the best search engine possible, they wouldn’t need to spend 1 dollar on advertising. Because it would go viral the same way Google did years ago.

  • Benjamin Dobson

    It’s interesting that Microsoft is trying to convince people that Google is broken. Most people see no problem with it.

    More than that, though, this shows just how badly the name “bing” works in real life.

  • Google achieved what they did because, 10 years ago, their search engine was significantly better than the competition. That margin of superiority is unlikely to be seen again. Bing could be 10% better than Google, but the difference would be imperceivable to most people.

    Getting people out of the Google habit after a decade at the top won’t be easy. TV commercials may help, although I think terms like “decision engine” will just confuse the market.

  • gpalmer711

    Only $100, do you know where MS get their advertising done? I’m sure my company could do with that sort of advertising for $100.

  • “it’s time to bING and decide”

    Awful advert. Good search engine though.

  • Dave

    I was so impressed I went right out and used Google.

    So MSN/Live/Bing is supposed to revolutionize the search world? How? I didn’t notice anything different about it, so whatever the big deal is must have been subtle. Either that or I miss the completely obvious.

  • The first rule of marketing (forgot according to whom) is positioning – you gotta be #1 in your category. If you’re not, think of a new category and be #1 there. Hence the whole decision vs. search engine.

    Other than that the three search engines are very comparable in terms of results, but folks go to Google because of the brand and the habit, that’s all. According to experiments, when you change the branding of the SERPs, people can no longer pick the best.

  • exxcorpio

    in this moment i dont think bing is gonna change thee world, I think microsoft have made not all the right choises with this google enemy, the logo is awefull, the site is not more than google so,and this ad is confusing on the begging…
    i m still google user and ill be for a time

  • AndrewCooper

    I agree with Craig Buckler about Google’s success being down to it being significantly better than other competition and Bing needing to be more than just 10% better than Google for it to work successfully.

    I like the advert personally. I’ve tried the Bing “Decision Engine” out and I have to say it’s not bad at all. It does a nice job of getting results back to me an what I love most is all the features and functionality it comes with…And the speed it does it at. The Bing Website is extremely fast. And if Websites that large are fast, it makes me like them.

    I honestly hope Microsoft do well with Bing because Steve Ballmer was looking tired and old in a talk he gave in May this year. I’d like to see him and Bill Gates dancing around and screaming one day. And I’d like it to be from the eventual success of Microsoft Bing.

    Goodluck to Microsoft I say :)

    Andrew Cooper

  • Midhun

    $100 marketing push?

  • Don

    That commercial was far more confusing than a Google search.

  • glenngould now redirects to bing. Maybe a few years later redirects to, the super dinging engine.

    By the way don’t know good or bad, but ‘bing’ reminds me The Bada Bing! :D

  • glenngould

    Offtopic: The spam filter here is no good by the way! It makes no sense to filter a logged-in long-term sitepoint member’s comments so strictly.

  • John

    Wait, so, the recession was caused by misusing Google?



  • Tarh

    I actually saw a different Bing commercial on TV the other day; I’ve never seen that one before.

  • Yes there’s several commercials on Bing’s channel now:

    They’re much better than the insane commercials at least.

  • Anonymous

    Notice the Mac at the start.

  • The Marketing Intern

    Yeah, this commercial was a bit inane. But the other one, where one person asks a question and the person standing next to them starts shouting random phrases containing the words the first person had used in his original question, that ad is effective. I think that illustrates exactly how Google is “broken,” at least as far as MS wants you to believe it is. Granted, it has yet to be seen if a Bing search for “Chocolate Candy” will eventually turn up results for exotic dancers.

  • Lucian

    I was curious about bing and tried to shop for an LCS screen for my laptop, that I previously bought using google shopping links, for $100.

    I was curious what deal Bing will give me, but returned me results starting from $150. Probably made a right decision but not for customer. It made it for seller!

  • David Rader II

    I would have still tried it. I’m always interested in new or tweaked search engines to see what results and extra features they may provide.

    I did already try it out before this commercial though :P

  • Amy

    I tried out Bing but was pretty unimpressed. The search results look strikingly similar to Google and the fancy imagery doesn’t really do much for me.

  • vjbarrie

    I can’t comment on commercial’s, etc, but I love the fact the MS has bought adds on Google and Yahoo! for Bing.

  • @vjbarrie: Google advertises on both Bing and Yahoo! as well. Has for many years.

  • Ryan

    I just got a call about the new Bing commercial from one of our Salespeople, after hanging up, I immediately Googled it. Nte how I didn’t say I binged it, that just sounds stupid.