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BizReport : Viral Marketing : August 10, 2009

Bing, bing, bing goes the Internet buzz

Consider this. Reports say that approximately $100 million was spent by one ad agency promoting Microsoft's new search engine. However, the most talked about element of Bing's campaign is the Bing jingle contest that cost the princely sum of $500 by way of an American Express card prize for the winning entry.

by Helen Leggatt

bing.jpgIf you haven't already heard the winning jingle, you probably should. Why? Because someone is bound to ask you if you have and if you think it's as awful as everybody else.

That's the only reason I listened to it. I felt left out. Having been told it was awful but catchy I was intrigued while worried that, in what is fast becoming a social faux pas, I might suddenly start humming it in public.

However, despite the negativity surrounding the winning entry, the contest worked on a couple of levels. Firstly, Bing got a jingle for the bargain price of $500, a fraction of the cost to be expected from a professional agency. Secondly, public opinion about the winning entry is driving buzz across the Internet, boosting awareness, whether reporting on the jingle in a favorable or cruel light.

The winner Jonathan Mann, known on YouTube as "The Rock Cookie Bottom", is also making a name for himself online. After his jingle was slated in a TechCrunch post, Mann hit back with a jingle about the post's author, MG Siegler.

And so the Bing jingle buzz rolls on.

However, at the end of the day, there's no guarantee that such a contest will generate much buzz. A similar contest run by Google to raise awareness of the Chrome icon, barely raised an online eyebrow. But, with the implementation costs being so low, marketers can afford to be creative and begin experimenting with crowdsourcing some elements of their marketing campaigns.

Tags: Bing, Bing jingle, buzz, Chrome, crowdsourcing, Jonathan Mann, Microsoft, Rock Cookie Bottom, search engine, TechCrunch

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