Will a Microsoft ad blitz woo you from Google?

Will a Microsoft ad blitz woo you from Google?

Summary: Microsoft is hoping an $80 million to $100 million ad campaign can get you to try its search engine over Google's. Will it work?


Microsoft is hoping an $80 million to $100 million ad campaign can get you to try its search engine over Google's. Will it work?

According to Advertising Age, Microsoft is putting its ad dollars behind Bing, its revamped search engine. Bing is that latest name for Microsoft's search engine. Mary Jo Foley has chronicled the various Microsoft search names from Kiev to Kumo to Bing

Ad Age explains:

People with knowledge of the planned push said the ads won't go after Google, or Yahoo for that matter, by name. Instead, they'll focus on planting the idea that today's search engines don't work as well as consumers previously thought by asking them whether search (aka Google) really solves their problems. That, Microsoft is hoping, will give consumers a reason to consider switching search engines, which, of course, is one of Bing's biggest challenges.

Microsoft reckons that its ads will court the crowd that wants a more refined search experience.      

The issue: How many of us really want a more refined search experience? Ad Age maintains that search quality has reached parity among the major search engines and I'm inclined to agree. However, that parity is just the first step. I've tried most of the search alternatives, but I'm a creature of habit and that means I gravitate back to Google. 

Microsoft has a huge inertia hurdle to clear. Google has the brand. Its search works well. And there's no burning reason to switch to another search engine---unless Google screws up. Microsoft's ads could plant a seed for the future, but it's going to be difficult to track the ROI on this ad blitz.

Topics: Microsoft, Browser, Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • No bloody way

    Wasted money, I'd say. Google is just so easy to use. Microsoft would do better to stick to it's core business: making operating systems.

    My advice to them: invest heavily in creating a new operating system, built entirely from scratch, avoiding all the current flaws. Apple did that once, and look how well that worked for them.
    • true

      But I actualy prefered Mac System or Classic as its now called.
    • Apple didn't build an OS

      like those that can't, Apple simply copied those that could.
      That is not creating. And considering the endless patching they have to do to the OS they cut and pasted, I'd say they failed at 'avoiding all the current flaws' as well.

      Having said that, you are partly correct; MS should get out of the search business.
      • technically MS hasn't either, exept Vista LOL

        1. DOS was developed by Seattle Computer then purchased (swindled) by Bill...
        2. Windows 1.0 thru Win98, and even ME were all derivatives of DOS
        3. NT & Windows 2000 were a derivative of VMS from DEC (MS's best OS offerings)
        4. XP was a copy of MacOSX
        5. and Vista started out as the lone innovative project through various periods of development (remember 'Longhorn') - but I guess that ended up life as a failed copy re-issue of Mac OSX), so MS never did invent an OS!
        • In your theory, no company ever builds an OS!

          If your theory works, then I don't see any company building anything!!
        • It's amazing what people will say...

          When they don't really know what they're talking
        • so...

          Microsoft built XP in 6 months?

          XP is an NT derivative. Mac is STILL a Unix

          Windows 95 was the first true fully GUI system
          like we have today. Where was that copied?

          If you want to pull the 'who copied who' BS,
          you can ask Steve Wozniak, the real inventor of
          the Apple computer. They took the idea from
          Xerox, just like Microsoft did. Windows XP
          still had a DOS foundation, as well.

          Mac OS X isn't innovative, it doesn't do
          anything 'new' or 'special.' When they added a
          sound recorder, mac fanboi's went WILD. OMG I
          Guess what? Been there for 15 years. Anyone who
          acts like one OS was copied from the other is
          just a moron.

          Howbout OS X being pretty friggin' similar to
          Jobs' old company? How about Mac not getting
          popular at all until Microsoft gave them
          business software? To date, the number 1 bought
          mac app is STILL Microsoft Office, and yet all
          the mac users go on about how little Microsoft
          deserves. Shove your overpriced hardware down
          your throat and stop trying to put it down

          Microsoft built the most secure non-ROM OS to
          date. Twice. Linux doesn't count, since there
          is no Linux. Linux isn't one thing, so you
          can't talk about it for any reason. It would
          have to unite before anyone has a chance.

          go home.
          • Linux doesn't count?

            That's like saying water doesn't count as a liquid because it's not uniform.

            Microsoft didn't build the most secure non-ROM OS to date. Even if Windows was the ONLY non-ROM OS, it still wouldn't be the most secure because of how insecure it is.

            Linux though, Linux counts. Different distros have different implementations of the Linux kernel (the actual OS), that's it. What makes Linux what it is doesn't change because you use KDE instead of Gnome or Gnome instead of XFCE.

            By the way, saying something doesn't exist doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Maybe you should go back to school and try and pay attention this time.
          • What a load of factually challenged drivel

            You really need to "take off your Microsoft glasses" so you have a chance at seeing the reality.

            Microsoft's OS and other products have never ever been remotely secure, until very recently when they have picked up their game.

            And as for your "Linux doesn't count" that's a nice try at declaring you are right even in the face of the your assertion being horribly wrong.

            So, go home? Nah, I'd rather you got a clue.
      • Xerox made the OS and gave it away

        Xerox could have ruled the world but was scare of the computer taking away the need for paper and copy machines.

        Apple was handed a OS Xero made they could have ruled the world but, decided to not let people in and made there own computers. This making it cost more for a Mac.

        Microsoft they copy the OS off Apple and because the PC was made from off the shelf parts and everyone could buy one for half the cost of Apple they won.

        If Apple open OS X to all PC users Windows may go down in flames. I don't think Linux will be able to do it.
        • @Randalllind

          If you have done any reading about the history of computers, you would know that the GUI concept came way before Xerox and PARC.
    • All OS's

      Have flaws. Windows has patch Tuesday, Apple just
      patched like 60 flaws and Linux patches its OS as
      well. I hate fanboys.
      • GameOvR

        You mean-- Linux provides updates and improvements to the OS!
    • Amen brother!

      To Microsoft:
      Stop wasting money on stupid ideas and spend it to simply lower your current OS prices. Spend it to develop a better OS from scratch. Spend it to distribute a single version of your OS with everything included. Focus on improving what you do now, instead of constantly trying to do something else.
      Disgruntled Former Customer
    • Microsoft has no choice...

      Google is a big threat, it was their search engine that got me off MSN in the first place.

      With all the features and cloud applications Google has been developing, they could end up replacing Microsoft as a OS, browser, and application provider, if they don't watch it!

      Google actually IS an inovater, and could pull all of this off in the future.
  • May convince users to give it a try

    but bing needs to provide substantially better results and experience to convince users to switch to Bing as the primary search provider.

    I have tries Live search regularly, but I always end up using Google. If bing is just a revamped Live Search, then it doesn't stand a chance.
  • Doubtful

    No, i doubt it.
    Firstly - the fact that they think a big advertising
    campaign is the way forward shows they don't "get it"

    It will have to be SUBSTANTIALLY better than Google's
    offering in some meaningful way to the user, the first
    time they try it, or there will be no reason to switch.

    As good as (as various studies have shown) is not good
    • Exactly!

      Well said. I may try it, but if it's not better than Google, it won't be used. Unless it proves useful for special cases.
      Hans Schmidt
  • RE: Will a Microsoft ad blitz woo you from Google?

    There is one measure of a search engine -- how well it keeps commercial interests at bay. I would expect the Microsoft effort to be good at this for the first month and then turn into a gigundo Craig's List of bought or cheated results as those who live by search engine listings learn how to trick the game.

    Oh, and the fact that Google is really the world's biggest server farm and the search is just another application running there should make Microsoft's job tough.

    But their last place finish will not deter the American and European authorities from trying to have Redmond go the way of GM -- but pay my fines first. The only question is whether Bill Gates will accept 30 cents on the doollar for the privilege of having his company run by the government.
  • Only one use for anything from MS.

    That's providing a platform to run Chrome so that you can get to Google.

    Seriously though, unless their search engine far exceeds Google, MS will have a very hard time competing against Google.