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

Latest Videos

Conversations over a cuppa with CMO: Microsoft's Pip Arthur

​In this latest episode of our conversations over a cuppa with CMO, we catch up with the delightful Pip Arthur, Microsoft Australia's chief marketing officer and communications director, to talk about thinking differently, delivering on B2B connection in the crisis, brand purpose and marketing transformation.

More Videos

The versatility of Live Chat is really what surprises me. I’ve seen it being used not only for customer support, but also as a tool to in...

Drishti Shah

Why Bupa tapped WhatsApp for new customer messaging channel

Read more

Hi This is George, Thanks for sharing this nice information about foodpanda blockchain. During this pandemic situation food delivery indu...

George David

foodpanda launches blockchain-based out-of-home advertising campaign

Read more

Did anyone proofread this document before it was published?

Beau Ushay

CMO Momentum 2020: How to embrace agile marketing

Read more

An honest and hardworking conveyancer doesn't need a marketing strategy. His past clients will spread the word for him. These days the ho...

Bagen Andrea

What this millennial marketer is doing to shake up conveyancing

Read more

Love the post. It is so insightful for companies getting stuck in their habits and missing out on the role innovation can have on revenue...

Alessia Del Genio

How Lego built its culture of innovation, brick by brick

Read more

Blog Posts

Innovate or die

It’s hard to know if famed management and marketing guru, Peter Drucker, coined this phrase for dramatic effect. My belief is he was emphasising the notion that few products and markets are static and few organisations can survive without innovation.

Michael Valos

Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing, Deakin University

Commissioning personas that get used

How to avoid the bottom drawer, and how to get value from the work you’ve paid for

Melanie Wiese

Chief strategy officer, Wunderman Thompson

Why It’s Going To Be A Bumper Holiday Season Despite the Pandemic

Behavioural science expert Dan Monheit, co-founder and strategy director of creative agency, Hardhat, writes that marketing chiefs should hold their nerve, as they have reason to be optimistic

Dan Monheit

Co-founder, Hardhat

Sign in