Microsoft readies $80-$100 Million ad campaign for new search brand

via Todd Bishop at TechFlash

jwt_7bfc0d78 News

Microsoft has selected ad agency JWT to run the campaign, according to a news posting in Advertising Age:

Industry executives expect JWT, part of WPP, to unveil an estimated $80 million to $100 million push for the new search engine in June, with online, TV, print and radio executions. Microsoft spent $361 million on U.S. measured media in 2008, the bulk of it devoted to brand advertising and smaller chunks to other Microsoft brands such as Xbox and MSN, according to TNS Media Intelligence data.

According to the post, whether the new brand for Live Search is Kumo, or some other name, it will be positioned as a “reimagined” search engine:

According to one person close the situation, the forthcoming campaign will be careful to not position "Kumo" as a competitor to Yahoo or Google and instead cast it as a reimagined search engine that ups the game by yielding fewer but more-focused results. The proposed strategy is probably a good — if not the only — way to go.

However Ad Age doesn’t seem overly impressed that the campaign will make much of a difference:

Heavy marketing hasn’t exactly been a winning formula for other search engines. IAC-owned Ask.com, for example, asked Crispin for a major ad campaign that launched in May 2007 and focused on Ask.com’s algorithm. But Ask.com’s share declined two-tenths of a percentage point to 4.5% from July 2007 to July 2008, according to ComScore.

Dr. Qi Lu, who spoke today to a group of Microsoft worldwide field leaders is planning his first public appearance in June at SMX Advanced, which fits nicely into the timing of the ad campaign.