Bing It: New Catch Phrase or Marketing Dud?
It bears repeating that imitation is the most sincerest form of flattery. And clearly, Microsoft is taken with Google. So much so that they’ve tried to manufacture their own cultural phenomena. You’ve heard about product placement in TV shows and movies. But what about catchphrase placement? A prime example: In a recent Hawaii-Five-O broadcast, characters “Bing It.” Huh? Read on for details.
A tip of the hat goes to Engadget for bringing this to my attention. You can check out the quick clip below here:
Basically, instead of our intrepid character asking someone to “look it up on their phone” or “check the Internet” or “Google-it,” Microsoft has provided Windows Phone 7 product placement and a wonky new verb to the English language while simultaneously confusing the non-technical viewership.
I thought I’d have more to say, but the analysis here is really simple: “Bing-it” will never enter the consciousness as a verb like “Google” does, and if it does, it’ll show up on ironic t-shirts for hipsters to wear. You can’t force a meme onto tech savvy people, either, because it’s unnatural, and they’ll retaliate.
What’s more, although Microsoft has had a brilliant advertising campaign with Windows Phone 7, marketing it as a phone that helps you “get in and get out”, one has to wonder what key demographic viewership Microsoft is going after with placing this in the Hawaii-Five-O remake TV show.
Are you going to get younger-viewers looking for something hip with an old school twist, or are you looking for older-viewers looking for something new with a pinch of nostalgia? Either way, the older group might be too embedded with BlackBerry (or a Jitterbug, depending on how old), and the younger group might already be enjoying the iPhone or an Android variant. Again, it seems a forced and unnatural place for product placement, especially with the unnecessarily long shot of the woman actually using Bing on the phone. (It was like Microsoft was saying “look, look, it’s cool, isn’t it?”)
In Microsoft’s fervor to get the word out about Windows Phone 7, they very well may have dug their own grave by creating the lamest sounding phrase ever uttered for money.