BING COLBERT by UM for Bing

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BING COLBERT

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Industry Search Engines
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency UM
Released June 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Branded Content
Advertiser: MICROSOFT
Product/Service: SEARCH ENGINE
Date of First Appearance: Jun 7 2010
Entrant Company: UM, New York, USA
Director of Brand Entertainment: Sean Carver (Microsoft)
Senior Marketing Communications Architect: Aaron Lilly (Microsoft)
Senior Vice President/Experience Architect: Teddy Lynn
Vice President/Client Business Partner: Sarah Potemkin
Vice President/Group Media Director: Steve Feldman
Associate Director, Custom Media: Jason Stermer
Associate Director, Custom Media: Allan Johnson
Project Manager: Joanne Chen
Project Manager: Christine Wheeler
Media placement: TV Integration - Comedy Central - The Colbert Report - June 7, 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea

For many Americans, Google defines the search engine category—Bing was up against stiff competition. Our initial campaign had built strong awareness for Bing, but we needed to increase trial. Through extensive measurement, we had learned that one of the main drivers to increase overall impact against all of our key performance metrics was buzz. To create buzz in a way that would spark trial, we approached Stephen Colbert, whose television show not only indexed extremely well against our target, but was also buzzworthy enough to be frequently picked up by other media. We set Colbert up with a challenge: we would donate $2500 for every Bing mention on the Colbert Report.

Creative Execution
To pull this off in a way that would authentically incorporate Colbert’s signature ironic tone and sense of humour, the network needed full freedom to execute. The result was over the top, tongue-in-cheek, and impossible to miss. Colbert opened the show discussing the Gulf oil spill disaster. During his monologue he mentioned Bing, as the Bing logo flashed and the Bing mnemonic sounded. Throughout the show, Bing was mentioned across every segment, including in a five-minute skit where Colbert beat up a fake Tony Hayword, CEO of BP. Each punch received the logo and mnemonic treatment. Colbert even got his guests in on it, leading political strategist James Carville to mention Bing three times. The final Bing mention was met with a $100K cash tally display, balloons, confetti, and a donation to the Gulf Oil Spill Relief fund.

Results and Effectiveness
Bing was mentioned a staggering 40 times each during the single episode. The overall spike in buzz (from both traditional media and the blogosphere) picked up by Bing’s in-market research allowed them to pinpoint the show’s direct positive effect on people trying the product. First mention unaided awareness results were 50% higher than the second-best performing Bing integration. It yielded Bing’s best results for brand evangelism, with 80% of viewers saying they discussed the Bing execution with others. Also, 43% of viewers said they intended to try Bing after seeing the Colbert integration.