updated 01:20 pm EDT, Mon May 25, 2009
MS 80m anti Google Ads
A rumor today suggests Microsoft is planning to partly repeat its anti-Apple ad strategy when it launches a major new search engine. AdAge hears that Microsoft plans to spend between $80 million to $100 million advertising Bing, the final version of a radically revised search engine codenamed Kumo and meant to compete with Google, Yahoo and other top-tier search engines. At least initially, the ads created by marketing firm JWT won't target Google directly but will instead suggest something wrong with today's search engines and push Bing as the alternative.
However, Google is directly implicated in the search and would face a particularly new level of competition through the ad. Despite controlling the majority of the web search market in the US and worldwide, Google has never had to advertise itself and has never faced ad campaigns large enough to undermine its own market share.
Microsoft is all the same rumored to face an uphill challenge. Most of Bing's improvements come from its underlying algorithms and their improvement in turning up results. Text searches won't be significantly different, while media search will change but is also at least partly matched by Google. The Windows developer still struggles to gain search share and had been sufficiently desperate for share as to consider buying Yahoo outright, which would have cost enough to require a rare loan.