We’ve all seen those Bing It On Challenge commercials comparing Microsoft’s Bing to the ever so popular Google. You know the one where the geeky IT guy travels to a new city to test consumers’ on whether they prefer Bing or Google? More often than not, consumers’ first response is… “Oh I use Google.” A little banter back and forth and before you know it, a computer is in front of you and you are saying, “Right or Left.” By the end of this interactive experience, Bing is users’ preferred choice and the geeky IT guy looks really happy.
I tend to be a brand loyalist, a total sucker for packaging and customer perks (hey, at least I know this): Starbucks, Smart Water, MAC, United Airlines, and The NorthFace are a few of my favorites. However, this commercial prompted me to take action. There is a quiz involved. I loved school. Why not? And what does GREAT advertising do? Create action. So, naturally, I took the quiz. Bing won 3 out of 5 times. Ok, so 60%. I couldn’t decide on two as there were no images associated with my searches.
What does this say about consumers? Or me? My brain is drawn to pretty things? I’d rather look at images of tacos then see line items listed about tacos (yes, I binged tacos, it was Tuesday). In the end, I was saying “Bing It On, Baby” and kinda wishing the geeky IT guy was standing next to me cheering.
This experiment then led me to searching for news articles related to Bing and its popularity. I came across an article titled, “Bing Offers School a Safe, Advertising-Free Search Experience.” Sadly, my first thought was gun violence in schools and then I wondered, “How do search engines promote safety in schools?” I started reading.
According to the article, Microsoft announced a new program called The Bing for Schools Program. This Program will allow a customized search experience using Bing and will be available to grades K-12. This Program will remove all advertising from search result pages, filter out adult content, and offer additional content to enhance digital literacy skills to children. Although, Bing hasn’t released all the details of the Program just yet, we have been told it will be free of cost and provided to schools as a choice. Bing Behavioral Scientist, Matt Wallaert said, “We see the program as something we can build alongside teachers, parents, and visionaries to create the best possible search experience for our children, and we will continue to update you with new information as we work towards our launch later this year.”
Hmmmm. Good deeds from a tech giant while inadvertently promoting a product? Innovative. Helping kids? Cool. I am now left thinking… Bing not only offers a ‘prettier’ search engine experience than Google (remember those tacos?), but Bing is ALSO building a safer environment for children in a world where censorship is limited. Definitely, Bing It On.
Let me know your thoughts!