Massive ads set to take over Windows' Bing app

New "hero ads" within the Windows Bing app will dominate your entire screen. So far, however, they're confined to Windows 8.1.

Unwary users searching for Hertz, Jaguar, or Radio Shack while using the latest version of Windows may be in for a shock: the appearance of ads that can take over nearly your entire screen.

So far, the large ads are only accessible via the "smart search" within Windows 8.1. Typing "baseball," for example, on the Windows Start page launches the Bing app, where images of baseballs are intermixed with the official Major League Baseball site, the relevant Wikipedia article, and relevant videos.

Type in "hertz," however, and a customized "hero ad" will nearly fill your screen, offering links for Gold Plus rewards members, online rservations, and special offers, as well as links to actually reserve a rental car. And if you happened to be searching for hertz, the international unit of frequency, you'll have to scroll horizontally to the third result on the right. It's a marked change from the old Bing app, where eight separate results are visible on the first page, and the Web, where Bing's results are organized vertically.

Microsoft began introducing ads into Bing smart searches this past summer, when smaller ads began appearing next to search results. Meanwhile, Windows 8.1 began introducing hero-sized index pages of its own, so that searches for "Prince" or "Lady Gaga," for example, returned pages with biographical information and links to songs.

Searches for generic terms like "baseball" still seem safe, but beware wandering on the Web in search of brands.

"The goal of Hero ads is to enable searchers to quickly find the most relevant information and complete the most popular tasks for the brand they are specifically searching for via a beautiful visual and interactive experience created in partnership with our brand partners," wrote Stephen Sirich, the general manager of Microsoft's Online Division at Microsoft, in a blog post.

Similar ads have been created for Land Rover, Jaguar, Home Depot, Norwegian Cruise Line, Radio Shack, Hertz, Volkswagen, and a "few additional popular brands," Sirich added. "We will continue to solicit feedback from both users and marketers during this pilot and will use those learnings to create an experience that works best for advertisers and Windows 8.1 users."

Microsoft's online business has consistently lost money, so the new ads will probably fill the hole where traditional banner advertising or other display ads would appear. But if more and more advertisers sign on, you'll likely wade through a number of similar splash screens before ending up on actual search results.

Join the CMO newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Supporting Association

Blog Posts

Why 2017 will herald a resurgence of values-based marketing

It doesn’t take long for predictions to become predictable: The rise and rise of Facebook; advancements in analytics; the normalisation of chatbots; personalisation, programmatic, automation, authenticity… The prediction that’s missing from these lists is that in 2017 we will witness a resurgence of values-based marketing.

Jacqueline Burns

Founder, Market Expertise

Why customer experience driven growth is set to take off

Our overall brand perceptions are invariably shaped by our experiences. And loyal customer relationships can be severed in moments by a negative service interaction.

Consistency and conversation: How branding and advertising can work better together

Advertising and branding are two of the most visible outputs of marketing, which is why getting them right is so important. However, too often the line between branding and advertising becomes blurred. This means advertising activity can be out of sync with brand, resulting in poor results for both functions.

Dan Ratner

managing director, uberbrand

Someone needs a swift kick up the bum for such an idiotic idea.

random

​Why a degree is no longer enough to get you hired as a skilled marketer

Read more

The frequent flyer programs are the new profit machines for airlines all over the world, as they have morphed to be mass marketing machin...

Steve@iFLYflat

Velocity frequent flyers program strong performer in mixed half-year for Virgin

Read more

Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing these info regarding the digital marketing trends.I've created a related video to this topic, would you m...

Fabio Carry

Predictions: 17 digital marketing trends for 2017

Read more

Great news. Marketing automation can be very useful for companies at various stages of development. With so many tools out there it's bet...

Ben

How HBF rolled out marketing automation in eight months

Read more

I read a report that the business sector in Australia as a whole have yet to fully harness and see the proactive change that predictive a...

Alex Martin

Report: Predictive analytics, IoT, machine learning battle it out for marketing dollars

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in