Bing's going to the Super Bowl, but not in ad form

Read More at: Cnet News

As part of this year’s Super Bowl, taking place February 6, Microsoft is flexing its marketing muscles. But it’s not for a multimillion-dollar TV ad. Instead, the company is waging a ground war in the parking lot, trying to turn users onto Bing with a finale of its own championship series.

Since November, Microsoft and the Tailgating Institute of America have been hosting a series of regional tailgating events finals in various parts of the United States. The winners from each of those competitions will face off on February 3, three days before the Super Bowl, to determine who has the best overall tailgating experience. Bing’s placement in that event will be large screens with football-related Bing queries, as well as mobile phones with Bing installed around the event so that tailgaters can give it a spin.

Besides the tailgating party, Microsoft is collaborating with ESPN as part of its “I am a World Champion” feature series. This will feature TV segments of quarterbacks that have won various Super Bowl games throughout history. Microsoft’s angle there is that, like Bing, these athletes had “decisive moments.” The company will also be doing a live panel with quarterbacks Joe Montana, Doug Williams, and Kurt Warner, all of whom won past Super Bowls, as well as holding a vote on who is the most decisive quarterback in a collaboration with Sports Illustrated.

As for why the company’s not doing a TV ad, Tiedt said simply that reach and awareness were not a problem for Bing. “We’re pretty heavy in marketing all year,” she said. “We’re into marketing activities to show the product.”