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Microsoft Bing Goes Internet Jingle Winner Cheap Ad

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Probably among the cheapest ads ever, Bing named Mann 'winner' in Bing Jingle contest. For $500 Microsoft got "Bing Goes The Internet" and bang-there goes the internet.
This whole deal seems highly reminiscent of the Nike Swoosh logo creation, where Nike paid an enormous $35 for the logo that since defined its brand. On the tip of cheapness, this Contest promotion by Bing seems to run along similar lines. Unfortunately for Microsoft, it seems the end result may not have been quite what it was thinking of; Bing may have gotten ripped off on this deal. Maybe it's that whole karma thing in play. Perhaps $35 would have yielded the company more in returns.
Microsoft promotion description defines this as a "a skill-based Contest," though that required skill remains to be seen. A portion, or portions, of the Contest description may be open to interpretation. Bing Jingle entrants submitted Bing entry videos by July 31, including recorded music video/Bing theme song, and fitting it all into less than five minutes in length. Not too short for participants, and not too long for Microsoft: basically the goal seemed to ensure overkill, with lots of room for Bing to edit stuff out as the company saw fit. Perhaps they weren't planning on having to cut the whole thing.
The Bing Grand Prize: a $500 American Express gift check (and that's before taxes on that whopping 500 big ones). Not all online voices were impressed by the Microsoft Bing "Grand Prize," offered in the form of an Amex check: 
"Seriously? a $500 American Express gift cheque? That's just insulting. Specially from an up and coming search engine -- and one operated by Microsoft no less.
Here's a suggestion. Why not acknowledge the endeavors of creatives by at least offering a prize amount that a professional would be paid for creative a jingle for you.
$500? You should be ashamed."
But then again, maybe Microsoft isn't entirely to blame. After all, if someone's willing to do pretty much anything for a buck (or $300+ after taxes) plus their 15 minutes (or, in this case, less than 5 minutes) of "fame", who can blame the company? Microsoft just happens to recognize that fact, and is providing the opportunity-an opportunity apparently jumped at, at least by one "winner".
Maybe Microsoft's Bing is counting on the worthiness of this Jonathon Mann "winner" to pick that excitement right back up again! Only the attached Bing Contest winner's video, which can be viewed from this wack in all its glory, can possibly serve to clarify Microsoft's promotional intentions.
For some reason, Microsoft's Bing hasn't been running that prize-winning "Bing Goes The Internet" named "winner" it 'paid' for. Some might say Microsoft or Bing got the raw end of the deal on this one, being out 500 bucks and all. Plus, the company's stated goal for entrants was to be rewarded for "embarrassing [themselves] online to potentially millions of people." Whoops. Looks like the embarassed ones might not have been the entrants.
Mann and his winning jingle, "Bing Goes The Internet," is sure to change consumer view of Bing's Search Engine everywhere: Mann's 'charisma' virtually explodes in this self-made Bing video. But maybe that's because he's a true professional, uploading videos (aka 'Song a Day') via YouTube. With a name like 'rockcookiebottom', it's gotta be fine.
It must be that this was his (and Bing's) destiny. The two seem to have found each other and a fine match indeed, in terms of success. In this Bing "winner", Mann dances with himself (or rather silhouettes of himself) on Bing's home page as a background. As one "Bing Goes The Internet" viewer phrased it, "words cannot describe the horror." But then that's only one opinion, and the net is filled with many about this winning Bing video. Oddly enough, it doesn't seem Bing has actively promoted this fine piece of advertising, despite owning worldwide rights to do since before last July. Stranger yet, "Bing Goes The Internet" doesn't seem actively promoted on Bing's company YouTube page.
That's right, Microsoft Bing ran its Bing Jingle Contest promotion through its competitor-owned, Google, YouTube video site. But, hey, when you're Microsoft (and don't have one of your own-yet) what are you gonna do? You certainly can't let a little thing like that interfere with such an important 'Bing Jingle' Contest.
For those who somehow missed 'em the first time, here are the key highlights of the Microsoft Bing Jingle Contest description and Terms. The description's signed 'The Bing Intern,' and from this winning level of quality displayed below, who could argue? He or she just may be a copywriter on the side-it's usually positive to tell people what the "reward...for embarassing yourself online to potentially millions of people", then pointing out that 'Grand Prize' reward to be less than 500 bucks ($500 less taxes, with signed tax forms required by any potential winners prior to Contest end). People usually respond well to offers of embarassment in front of millions of people, in exchange for a few bucks.
Those are certainly some made copywriting skills that 'Bing Intern's' got going on. Or, does Microsoft believe that the hip, younger consumer base is supposed to relate to this young man or woman, based on the 'Intern' reference?
"Fans of Bing find it easy to say and often speak the name like a sound effect, especially when you find what you’re looking for online. Bing!
Since everyone is having fun with the name, we thought it would be interesting to see what you can do with it, put to a little music! Got a fun jingle, or as we like to say in the halls around here “Bingle” you want to share?
Warm up those vocal cords, bust out your flip, video mobile phone or camcorder and start getting creative because today we are launching the “Bing Jingle Contest” on the Bing YouTube site.
What will the reward be for embarrassing yourself online to potentially millions of people? How does a $500 American Express gift cheque sound? Music to your ears we hope! The contest winner will be picked based on number of views and quality of ratings they get on their video submission.
You have until July 31,2009 to submit your video entry and the winner will be announced on August 5. Full contest details and rules can be found Below.
Happy jingle making and good luck!
The Bing Intern"
"Fans of Bing"? Seems Microsoft was a bit ahead of itself here. Perhaps it perceived this fan base the rest of the world was, and is, unaware of. Most certainly that fan base has increased immeasurably after all these months since Bing introduction, with pop-up ads that continuously open with a mouse nowhere near them. No doubt a fan base continues to build as consumers constantly close unwanted pop-up windows, only to have pop-ups again continually open again and again.
"Bingle"? Are you serious? What a grand marketing idea, throwing that one in there, in hopes that customers could possibly be swooned into believing that all of you 'Bing Interns' run around the halls-calling Bing Jingles "Bingles". Where was the creative director on this one, and who left the interns alone-those "Bingles" must have gone to their heads, particularly considering the fact that this conjures images of the holidays when the Contest was running in mid-Summer.
Grammar also apparently went unchequed in the 'Bing Intern's' creation. When money's  no object (though in this particularly cheap ad promotion, maybe it was, from the looks of it) those extra few minutes to create a specific U.S. site, and separate European one, might be good. Believe it or not 'Bing Intern', many in the U.S. aren't familiar with what a 'cheque' is and, for those of the population who are, it makes consumers feel like they're on the wrong site. Like checking the url to make sure you haven't just landed on some UK-dedicated version of Bing's website.
The wack Terms of the Bing Jingle contest are indisputable: for reasons unknown (though they most most certainly exist, based on such specificity by Microsoft in these terms) Bing contest entrants cannot be residents of the following countries or province(s):

  • "You are NOT a resident of the province of Quebec; and
  • You are NOT a resident of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria."

Maybe only residents of Quebec, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria could provide some insight into their Microsoft Bing Contest exclusion. Curious how Canadian Quebec managed to be the only province barred from entry, and it's unclear as to how willing participants from France are welcomed while Quebec has been ousted from entry.
It seems that, during all the hoopla and promotion, Microsoft's Bing didn't mind running the risk of potentially alienating Canada entrants (at least those from Quebec). It can seem self-defeating to run a Contest promotion while simultaneously running the risk of insulting an entire province. Bing customer (or would-be customer) comments included:
"Great idea, but it would seem to me that Microsoft’s bing search engine team doesn’t like French Canadians or maybe they only fear Celine Dion will enter the contest?"
Also in the Bing Contest Terms:
"your [Bing Jingle] entry cannot have been selected as a winner in any other contest"
This seems an unusual Term, since it's unclear as to how a Bing-focused video entry might possibly apply to another contest submission. But apparently Microsoft's gotta be thorough and cover all the legal bases.
And, speaking of covering legal bases, Microsoft contest Terms included one of the lengthiest sections regarding use of winning entry:

Other than what is set forth below, we are not claiming any ownership rights to your entry. However, by submitting your entry, you:

  • are granting us an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right and license to: (i) use, review, assess, test and otherwise analyze your entry and all its content in connection with this Contest; and (ii) feature your entry and all into content in connection with the promotion of this Contest in all media (now known or later developed);
  • agree to sign any necessary documentation that may be required for us and our designees to make use of the rights you granted above;
  • understand and acknowledge that the Promotion Parties may have developed or commissioned materials similar or identical to your submission and you waive any claims you may have resulting from any similarities to your entry;
  • understand that we cannot control the incoming information you will disclose to our representatives in the course of entering, or what our representatives will remember about your entry. You also understand that we will not restrict work assignments of representatives who have had access to your entry. By entering this Contest, you agree that use of information in our representatives’ unaided memories in the development or deployment of our products or services does not create liability for us under this agreement or copyright or trade secret law;
  • understand that you will not receive any compensation or credit for use of your entry, other than what is described in these Official Rules.
  • Please note that following the end of this Contest your entry may be posted on a website selected by us for viewing by visitors to that website. We are not responsible for any unauthorized use of your entry by visitors to this website. While we reserve these rights, we are not obligated to use your entry for any purpose, even if it has been selected as a winning entry.
  • If you do not want to grant us these rights to your entry, please do not enter this Contest."

Microsoft Bing Jingle Contest entrants "understand that [they] will not receive any compensation or credit for use of [their]entry, other than what is described in these Official Rules," so entrants won't be getting any name credits along with that 500 bucks from Amex.

Entrants to the Microsoft Bing Jingle Contest "are granting us [Microsoft] an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right and license to: (i) use, review, assess, test and otherwise analyze your entry and all its content in connection with this Contest." Despite the Contest not being open worldwide, apparently the right to worldwide advertising is available, so maybe residents of Quebec, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan or Syria can see the Bing Jingle winning video even though they won't be participating in the Contest.
Wow: Microsoft's maintaining the legal right to not only "feature your entry and all into content in connection with the promotion of this Contest in all media," which is making 500 hundred bucks seem like a better and better deal every second. But the most wack part is the part about "all known or later developed": that really puts things in perspective, when Microsoft's Bing is holding onto those rights while future forms of media are being developed. Now that's serious.

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