Why does every attempt to gain market share with clever ad campaigns fail? Why do search companies still think throwing ad dollars at the problem will work? Defining insanity with identical repetitive activity is becoming the norm for search sites, but it doesn't have to be that way.
MSN's upcoming ad campaign surrounding the release of its new search technology dubbed "Kumo," also know as "Project Kiev," and the reported $100 million ad budget is headed for yet another agency with marching orders to magically increase search market share.
Having met key people in multiple levels at MSN like Satya Nadella, Eric Picard and Mel Carson, I know MSN is not short in the talent department. History has taught us that great talent + cute and edgy ad initiatives ? more searchers.
It's time for a change in how to approach the market. It's time to learn from past blunders, and the answers might just be outside the search box.
Parade of failures
Fix it because it's broke. On Sept. 6, 2006, Crispin Porter + Bogusky began turning out an amazingly creative, edgy execution that successfully got the attention of everyone in the ad business. My, that initiative was going to look great at an awards ceremony.
"The Algorithm" homepage even had an abstract reference to our man Dmitry Sklarov's view of a poorly encrypted DRM file. The reference to another aspect of the digital industry with its head up its arse -- while providing yet another excellent illustration of how an engine of the search variety works -- was most fortuitous.
The search box's suggestion? Experience instant gratification.
The algorithm initiative included drive to search activities online. Perceived multitudes of searchers could be educated and provided with a better experience. That just didn't happen.
Here's what the algorithm site looks like today:
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