Microsoft is set to take on Google, with the launch of Bing, the search engine it hopes will help it grab a bigger slice of the online ad market. The reported budget for an ad campaign is $80 million to $100 million, to be developed by JWT.
Apparently, the campaign is aimed to create dissonance about your current search engine (Google?). 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 it really solves their problems. The parallel provided is that of the iPhone which showed consumers what can be done with a touch screen, unique rendering of the web on a phone and the App Store.
This places huge pressure on Bing and builds expectations. Unless the features offered are radically different for the common web user, it will be difficult to change a consumer habit. Sure, there is no cost to switch, but ‘Googling’ is a generic term for search, an indication of its mind space. With web email, Gmail is the default mail for many. And despite the launch of new brands offering features that are ‘different’, Gmail hasn’t lost it’s shine. At least for me. In.com, for example has a nifty user interface for its mail. It all-in-onw window with access to RSS feeds, a virtual Storage Drive and so on. But I hardly use – sheer inertia and life’s routine goes on without a new email ID. Will Bing deliver? And more importantly, will it be a serious threat to Google Search? Advertising plays a role, albeit a limited one. Remember the cute ads for Altavista – Kasparov and Testicular Cancer?