Will a Microsoft ad blitz woo you from Google?

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.