Microsoft Bing, by Droga5

Persuading people to switch from something they use instinctively every day is a difficult task. If your target audience is young, then it needs to be cool. Droga5’s New York campaign for Microsoft’s search engine Bing is just that.
It’s recently picked up some pretty cool awards, too, including a Titanium Award, Grand Prix for Outdoor, and Cyber Gold at Cannes. But what I really like about the campaign is that it brilliantly demonstrates how effective multichannel marketing can be. Top marks to Bing and its agency.
The brief was to make Bing more relevant to a young audience, a mammoth task considering Google’s dominance.
The campaign involved ‘hiding’ 350 pages of Jay Z’s soon to be released autobiography ‘Decoded’ in 350 different locations around the world.
The pages appeared on traditional poster sites as well as unusual places such as the bottom of a swimming pool, on restaurant plates, inside a Cadillac, on a pool table, cheeseburger wrappers and even Gucci jackets.
The clues to their whereabouts were seeded via social media channels and radio and could all be found using Bing Search and Bing Maps. Once discovered, fans could create the whole digital book online, before the release of the printed version. Now that really is very cool.
By re-inventing the book as a digital treasure hunt experience, what the agency have delivered is the ultimate demonstration piece as the users can only get to read the whole book by experiencing all of the functionality of the Bing search engine.
The results are impressive. Bing entered the top ten most visited sites globally thanks to an increase in visits of almost 12%. The campaign was covered by the major TV news and music channels as well as in the press and online.
Jay Z’s ‘Decoded’ went straight to number one in the New York Times best seller list, and stayed there for 19 weeks. And his Facebook fan page grew by 1 million people during the month of the campaign.
It’s so refreshing to see a creative idea using a multi-channel approach to such effect, and hats off for taking on Google.
Before I sign off, I do have a little confession to make. Although I’d like to believe I am, I don’t fall into the ‘young’ target audience any more, and I’m not a natural Jay Z fan. So whilst doing a little research for this article I naturally went online. And where did I go? Google. How uncool am I?
If you want to find out more about the campaign, you can Bing Search it here (or Google if you’re uncool):http://bing.decodejay-z.com and http://www.canneslions.com/work/titanium/

Brian Storey is a creative partner at multi-channel marketing agency Wand

twitter @brianstorey

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