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

Blog Posts

3 ways customer data can increase online sales conversion

Data has been an increasingly critical factor in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing and business operations.

James Bennett

Chief experience officer, Kalido

Our sharing future is both terrifying and exciting

Discussing the future in a realistic fashion is often a disappointing prospect. For all the talk of hoverboards, jetpacks and lightsabers changing the way we do things, the reality tends to end up being something as mundane as a slightly cheaper way to get around the city.

Jason Dooris

CEO and founder, Atomic 212

Queue experiences that are distinctive, memorable and shareable

Customer service that’s quick, easy and convenient has been shown to boost customer satisfaction. So it’s an odd juxtaposition that customer queues have become a sharable customer experience.

Wouldn't reconnecting with younger consumers be in direct contravention of the code on alcohol advertising?

Tim Palmer

Vodka Cruiser reconnects with younger consumers via category-first Facebook Live campaign

Read more

Thanks for the article Jennifer, you raise some interesting points. The supermarket and shopping centre examples particularly struck a c...

Jill Brennan

Why marketers should take note of social robots

Read more

Winning the retail game is really tricky at this point in time. Many retailers have declared themselves as bankrupt. But yes harnessing t...

Vanessa.M.Magers

​Bricks and clicks: Balancing digital and physical to win the retail game

Read more

Excellent article, Thank you.

Steve Beards

How Aprimo hopes to help marketers tackle distribution of content, funds and data

Read more

Thank you for a great article, Matt.

Andrey

Top tips to uncovering consumer insights for business innovation

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in