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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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald