Microsoft is really jumping into the ad platform. Not my particular favorite (who likes ads?), Microsoft’s been doing a pretty good job with it. With news of Microsoft taking over for Digg’s ads, Microsoft seems real serious about it’s ad platform. Similiar to the deal a year ago with Microsoft and its ad deal for Facebook. This is real good news. Like I’ve said before, Microsoft has to target popular site, and try to make deals to put their ads on there. If anything, it would really help push adCenter (whose site is so lame!). That’s the key.
Microsoft should try hitting news sites next. Get their ads on there, and push to have their Live Search algorithm index the sites news for users. Same with other popular sites – Get ad/site-algorithm deals. If Microsoft can do that, then they’ll really be moving forwards.
You’ve seen the "Try Live Search" ads right?
You know, the really cheesy ugly "Try Live Search" ads. The really ugly, ads with a not so responsive feedback, typing text and enter doesn’t launch the ad (manually click the spyglass), and where it really doesn’t show why people should really try Windows Live Search. Basically, I think their a failure and an embarassment to Windows Live. Even the Ask.com "Algorithm" ads are much more classier. Well that’s going to change.
Microsoft will be pushing towards a new brand of WindowsLive/MSN ads around late 07′ and early 08′. These ads will address Live Search much better, and be able to work better. One of the main things it will do, is actually explain why Live Search is better. Not just mention the brand and a picture. Like I could see one of the web ads showing "Why use Live Search?" – and there’s a quick screenshot showing text entered into the search box, and Instant Answers coming to the rescue (Instant Answers is a main pull BTW).
Another ad compares Windows Live search results page, to Yahoo!’s. And in this case, Live Search looks much nicer and the layout is cleaner, the ad would highlight.
Another does a screenshot of Live Image Search to Google Image Search. Shows the hover and endless scroll UI, and the handy scratchpad feature. Compared to Google’s ‘boring’ images.
The "Why is Live Search better?" ads will definitely improve with situations like these. Showing head-on why people should use Live Search. Not a bunch of Windows Live brands floating about, funky search images, and a horrible ad search box. Real nice ads.
There will also be screenshot comparison ads on TV channels, and a view movie preview ads, like the one’s in Canada.
Microsoft is also launching and underground viral ad against Google. Have you seen the "Google Master Plan" video? You know the one about what Google really has the power to do with our private data it digs?
Well Microsoft is planning on capitalizing on this one. Microsoft is planning on partnering with the video’s site and launch a series of viral campaigns all over the TV, web, and in movie theaters previews.
The ads will all be about the same topic – Can you really trust Google with your private data? Just for the sake of ads? And the fact that there could be more implementations that Google can use it for? These ads are meant to scare people into thinking that Google is not the quick search engine you really thought it was. Ok, maybe no scare, but at least make the public have doubts on whether or not Google can be trusted with their data. The ads will really make sure that it gets the message loud and clear to the public.
Of course, Microsoft will have to make sure that it doesn’t offend Google too much with them, or Google could really throw lawsuits or whatever about lies and no proof and yada yada. I’m guessing Microsoft will add at least a warning of some kind, on the ads, that these allegations about Google could be, and might not be true. But that there is strong indication from many sources about this. And Microsoft can list the sources on their "Can you trust Google" ads.
Also going along side the "Can you trust Google" ads, is another type called "A Day Without Google" ads. Can you imagine a day of not using Google as your search engine? As your e-mail account? As your free services provider? Windows Live/MSN challenges you to go for a day without using Google, trying Live Search the whole time instead. And they will extend this further by saying, a day is real short, and most people don’t spend their day completely searching, so how about a week without Google? Or even a whole month (that might be taking it too far)? The ad will be all about trying other search engines (namely Windows Live) instead of Google. Just to find the potential that you might not have tried in other search engines. And Microsoft will also be willing to add Yahoo! and Ask.com to the list (anything to avoid Google) to try against Google.
"A Day Without Google" might provide prizes if you actually do, do that, with a special monitor to check what search you use. But that would be a bit extreme and kinda desperate on Microsoft’s part. Just a challenge, and you can sign-up to try it and show your dedication to at least following it. And at the end, you can answer a nice Flash survey about what you thought, and what you’ll pick in the end. If you’re doing a week at least. Microsoft has plans to register/buy these URL’s to help with their ad campaign: adaywithoutgoogle.com, aweekwithoutgoogle.com, canyoutrustgoogle.com
These are very clever marketing campaigns, and it’s about time that Microsoft starts making their ad platform better. I hope these ads start coming soon, because I would love to take a gander at what Microsoft can do with them.