Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Two Months Plus a Big Ad Blitz Equal a Modest Move for Bing

half-fullTrue story. Earlier this month I’m at the movies, watching the pre-preview ads before “Funny People”*, and up pops one of the Bing! ads we’re all sick of by now. At the end of the minute-long spot, my date–who reads most of my articles, evinces an interest in many of them and is married to me–asks me this question: “What is Bing?”

So bear this in mind when reviewing the newest comScore (SCOR) search numbers, which show Microsoft (MSFT) continuing to make modest search share gains. Bing is now up nearly a full point since May, when Microsoft introduced the new “decision engine.”

If you’re in glass-half-empty mode, you can complain that the blitz of publicity (free and paid) for Bing should have moved the needle farther. But if you’re a half-full type, you can argue that there is a very large swath of people–even those with a passing interest in the Internet–who have no idea Microsoft has a new search engine. Which means there is a very large swath of potential converts.**

Here are the July data, courtesy of JP Morgan’s Imran Khan. Note that both Google (GOOG) and Yahoo (YHOO) saw share drop by 0.03 percent (click chart to enlarge):

search-share-july

And if you’ve already had your fill of the Bing ad blitz, brace yourself. Barclays analyst Doug Anmuth predicts another deluge in a few months “as we move closer to the holiday season, specifically highlighting the Cashback program and other differentiated features.”

Here’s the Bing spot that left my fellow moviegoer bemused (note that the ad has its own overlay ad at the 10-second mark for…Bing):

*Kafka At the Movies minireview: Way better than “Punchline.” And if you like your Adam Sandler angry (which I do) and your Seth Rogen slimmer (meh), you’ll be happy. But at two-hours-plus, way too long.

**Alternate take: You might worry that Microsoft’s decision to describe Bing as a “decision engine” may be confusing potential converts.


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First the NSA came for, well, jeez pretty much everybody’s data at this point, and I said nothing because wait how does this joke work

— Parker Higgins via Twitter