Apparently Microsoft wasn't confident in its own ability to create horrible commercials, so in order to find a catchy jingle for its Bing search engine, they created a contest.
The winner is a dude named Jonathan Mann, who--and this is not a joke--performed one of those arm-based dances (you know, like the Macarena) backed by white silhouettes and the Bing logo hovering above his head. And then, he sings, "Bing, Bing, Bing Goes the Internet."
Listen and watch here at your own peril:
On the bright side, there's no indication that Microsoft intends to use this jingle for anything other than the contest itself, which rewards the winner with a $500 American Express gift check. Still, the official rules say that Microsoft "may have developed or commissioned materials similar or identical to your submission and you waive any claims you may have resulting from any similarities to your entry." I wouldn't be surprised if some obnoxious jingle arises as a result of this contest.
I get the feeling Microsoft is throwing pasta at the wall with its advertising ventures to see what sticks. And the commercials that haven't stuck, have stunk.
It all started with the ad campaign in which Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld enjoy some completely incoherent banter. The star power alone made headlines, but, churros and shoes? We were all pretty confused.
Then came a stroke of genius. Microsoft users exclaimed, "I'm a PC!" Through the diversity of mankind, Microsoft had beaten back those smug Mac ads. The company seemed on a roll when it introduced Laptop Hunters, a reality TV-style argument for the value of PCs. But then there was that Internet Explorer 8 fiasco, when Microsoft realized it probably shouldn't associate its Web browser with projectile vomiting.
Then there's Microsoft's Songsmith promotion, which I saw for the first time today. It features a girl and her father awkwardly singing about awkwardly singing. That's four minutes I'd like back.
There is a pattern here. When Microsoft tries to get wacky on us, the result is failure. We're just not used to the monolithic company trying to play the oddball. As utterly unexciting as Laptop Hunters can be, it works.
The straightforward approach holds true for Bing. I've seen the "Bing and Decide" banner ads all over the Internet, and it's seeping into my consciousness in a good way. On the other hand, the Bing jingle we're seeing today is so very, very bad.