The holidays are a time for people to come together, be kind to one another and be merry, right? Well, Bing has other plans, which is evident by its newest marketing campaign “Don’t Be Scroogled.” The campaign, which launched last week, is aimed to expose Google Shopping product searches for what they are, product listing ads, and how users should turn to Bing — the “honest” search engine.
The new campaign is brought to life at www.scroogled.com, where the word SCROOGLED is front and center, deliberately designed with Google-branded colors. The site comes complete with a collection of articles for consumers to sift through that detail how Google’s core principals have evolved over the years. Bing also encourages consumers to “Warn your friends” and “Share your Scroogled story” on its Facebook and Twitter pages.
For those unaware of Google Shopping’s under the radar transition to a pay-to-play model, Bing conveniently provides an informational video explaining the shift.
Finally, if the above was not enough, Bing takes the campaign an extra mile by adding a new disclaimer to the top of its shopping results that reads: “Payment is NOT a factor used to rank search results in Bing.”
Creative or Desperate?
Creative advertising strategies in the search engine space are necessary due to the high competition to win over consumers. I believe Bing did a good job of this in it first campaign, “Bing it On,” which put the user in the driver’s seat with a playful competition between the engines. This time around was different; the campaign presented gaps, even if the claims stated are accurate.
It’s true that Google Shopping results are all paid inclusion products, and the transition was launched with a lack of promotion to the public. It’s even true to state that Google Shopping now provides less value to searchers because the library of products is much more restrictive.
So where is the gap? This campaign is lacking because it’s created an opportunity for critics to counterattack against Bing’s own strategies. It did a great job exposing Google’s tactics but provided a vague explanation on how its strategies are different. Although Bing may not consider payment in rankings, it does have a merchant listing program with Shopping.com. This means paid listings are included in its results, where deciphering between what is paid and what is not can be difficult, which another industry expert explains in a related post.
An Ongoing Battle
As I’ve stated before, the battle for market share against Google is going to be long and hard fought for Bing. It’s obvious by its last couple marketing initiatives that it is willing to step out of the box with its tactics against its primary competitor to try and change the overall consumer perspective. In my opinion, this last effort missed the mark due to Bing’s lack of transparency and could be considered a bit too aggressive. In the end, Bing is a business, and I have little doubt that this is the last we have seen of these types of marketing campaigns. So stay tuned for the next edition of Bing vs. Google; I’m sure it won’t disappoint.
What are your thoughts on Scroogled? Was Bing’s campaign on target, or too aggressive?