In the global recession, nobody spends money like Microsoft. First it was the Microsoft / Apple wars, with their clunky series of ads made famous on YouTube. Now the battle has shifted to the world of search.
Microsoft knows that the longer people get addicted to using the Google and Yahoo brands, the harder it's going to get to persuade people to switch over and use their own Live Search. Incidentally, Microsoft are looking at calling their Live search 'Bing'. So, giveth the obvious question: Will Microsoft's Bing bring in the big bling bling?
According to a report from The Advertising Age, Microsoft have put up around $US80m in funding to create a series of advertisements that would do just that: incite web surfers to rebel against the duopoly that is Yahoo and Google. The idea would be to make us think more carefully about web search and make Bing the big winner for Microsoft.
Apparently (and probably for legal reasons), Microsoft won't implicitly mention the big G or the big Y in the ads, but its suggested by the report, that the aim will be to create awareness amongst web citizens that the quality of your search matters so much that you should have second thoughts about who you use to get an answer.
We asked Wolfram Alpha "Who has the best Search engine?", but not surprisngly, it also didn't know the magical answer. Can $80m of advertising draw any better conclusions?
The report also mentioned that Google spent around $25m in total for its advertising spend last year, a figure Microsoft is going to easily quadruple when they come up firing with their anti-search campaign.
However, Microsoft may have their work cut out for them. Google is the Coca Cola of search and its dominance as the search beverage of choice isn't likely to diminish anytime soon.
Microsoft's Live Search product, which already comes bundled into the IE browser, is the likely benefactor from such a campaign, but it's probably going to take more than a pretty scare campaign to turn zillions of Google lovers off their prized search bar.
To be fair, Microsoft isn't the only company with deep ad pockets right now. Google's latest Japanese Chrome advertisement shows off a cuddly and playful vibe in a way that will likely make you wonder what the heck they're trying to sell or reaffirm you're desire to upgrade to the latest Chrome (2.0) browser.
Either way, we can't wait to see what weird and wacky concepts Microsoft come up with soon. We imagine that a guy dressed up as a search bar probably won't cut it. Let the ad wars begin.