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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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus