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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Undoubtedly, Robotic Process Automation enables marketing teams to accomplish repetitive tasks with fewer resources at a great accuracy.

Raj

What marketers need to know about robotic process automation

Read more

who wants to date me I am 9 years old and i am a boy

Jeremy Hawkins

Sink a sub gaming experience signals Subway's renewed brand push

Read more

Great read. I agree that it should be a perfect balance between interacting with your customers and knowing your brand. As a business, yo...

Caroline Scott

7 ways CMOs can improve their customer engagement game

Read more

Very true. Team development helps improve collaboration among the team members. I was able to improve my team's collaboration skills by t...

Quent Sinder

Why empowering others can help make you a great leader

Read more

CRM is a very good software that can help you succeed in your business. In my company, this system has allowed me to improve customer rel...

Anna Janicka

Sensis rebrands to Thryv and brings business software to Australian SMBs

Read more

Blog Posts

Unboxing 101 - How savvy influencer engagement can build a brand

The humble unboxing video is a powerful tool. Correctly executed, it harnesses consumer fandom, viral authenticity and brand design magic to deliver a high-impact message to a tightly targeted cohort of consumers.

Gali Arnon

Chief marketing officer, Fiverr

​Power to the people

Purpose is the ultimate statement of intent for many organisations. Why are we here? What are we trying to achieve?

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

The playbook to develop strategic brand moats

Warren Buffet is an unlikely ally for marketers. But his belief businesses need strategic moats that increase their value in the market while acting as barriers to competitors can offer marketers a new playbook for brand building and driving growth.

Fabian Di Marco

Founder and managing director, Tzu & Co

Sign in