Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Bing! Here Come the TV Ads

Steve Ballmer says he “gulped” when he approved the marketing budget for Microsoft’s new Bing search engine — it’s reportedly in the $100 million range. Here’s where some of that money is going — Microsoft’s new TV ads, which begin running today.

I think it’s meh, but I’ll let the rest of you folks play armchair ad critic. Though I do want to note two things:

1) Ballmer himself has been able to bring himself to mention Google (GOOG) by name, but this ad doesn’t. But it still manages to poke fun at Google, and specifically YouTube and poor Tay Zonday. What did he ever do to you, Redmond?

2) Throwing TV money at a Web problem rarely works. Just ask the folks at Ask.com.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work