Microsoft is thrashing Google in new TV spots for its "decision engine" Bing—understandably, since from Microsoft's perspective their rival is single-handedly responsible for the global financial crisis. "While everyone was searching, there was bailing," says an announcer, as images of fleeting Internet memes give way to frenzied traders and foreclosure signs. Apparently, writes Dan Neil in the Los Angeles Times, "the boys and girls at the Treasury were too busy downloading cute squirrel videos to notice the end of civilization."
Microsoft put $100 million behind its Bing ad campaign, and yet the first spot to air contains not just bizarre claims of a Google-led financial meltdown, but also Messianic copy "so vacuous it practically sucked my eyeballs out of their sockets," Neil writes. But at least this commercial made it to the airwaves. Another ad, featuring rapid-fire dialogue meant to mimic a faulty search engine, may already have been pulled after bad focus group testing—which Neil calls "a staggering misfire."