If you haven’t seen it, Bing has launched a new advertising campaign called “Bing it On.” The TV spots show a street kiosk with people comparing the search results from Bing and Google side by side (not knowing which is which) and choosing the better results page. Of course on the TV spot they are all so surprised that they considered Bing to be better. It is easy to scoff and not take this seriously, obviously they would show that … I bet I would always choose Google! Google is better!

This is similar to the Pepsi challenge from my childhood. Pepsi ran an identical campaign. Pepsi challenged people to choose the better-tasting cola in a blind taste test against Coca Cola. I thought the same exact thing when I was a little kid: “That’s stupid, they only show the people who choose Pepsi, I bet I would choose coke!” Why would I say such a thing? Because I was a coke drinker that’s why. My dad always purchased Coke and he knew everything at the time and Coke was the best right?

One time while shopping in the Mall of America I saw the Pepsi Challenge. It was right there in front of me, I was walking right at it. There was no crowd like in the commercials, just a little stand with a guy there and he offered the challenge to me. I tried both, easily identified Coke with a smirk on my face. “I guess Coke really is your favorite.” The guy said to me in a strangely peppy tone. I felt like a winner. I felt like I stuck it to the man. Like I proved something. You want to know what though? Pepsi tasted better.

The thing with the cola wars is people pick a side without evaluating both. A “Coke Person” will always pick Coke, and since Coke is always around he may go ten or more years without ever even tasting a Pepsi. This challenge puts Pepsi in his mouth. It challenges him to try it. The test isn’t “Find the Coke!” the test is “Which is better?” even if you are a Coke person, even if you pick Coke, you have NO CHOICE but to see that at the very least Pepsi is pretty decent.

It is a very brave advertising campaign. People are compelled to “beat it” instead of actually objectively choosing the best result. They want to embarrass the company that is claiming to be better than their favorite product. However they do get you to try it.

I am a Google person. I have used Google for as long as I can remember. Before I took the Bing it On challenge I had never used Bing. I saw the commercials on TV and I never used it. Why should I, It’s not like it can be better than Google. Right? I would have lived my entire life saying Bing is a waste of time, probably even making fun of people that used it.

The results? You can read a detailed analysis of my results at the MentorMate blog. Rest assured, Google is the better search engine. Your blind devotion to Google is justified! But if I had to use Bing for a week, I would probably get by just fine. Before this I probably would have lived my entire life never having used Bing. I used to scoff at Bing. Now I will admit Bing is a fair search engine. I would consider this campaign a success.

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