Thursday, July 2, 2009

Could I be any worse of an ad?

I'll take "attacking things your competitors don't do" for $200, Alex.

Wife: "Hey, did you ever find tickets to Hawaii?"
Husband: "Hawaii Five-O! Book 'em, Dano! Aloha! Mele Kalikimaka! Surf lingo! Brah, I was stoked when I caught that tasty barrel!"

I mean, fine, I guess this is supposed to be hyperbole. But it's hyperbole so extreme that it just means nothing. Go to Google and type in "tickets to Hawaii," not that anyone would ever type in so vague a term when they specifically were looking for airline tickets. The first two results are Cheap Tickets and Orbitz, both of which will sell you plane tickets to Hawaii. In case you meant something else, you're also presented on the first page with other links where they sell tickets for University of Hawaii sporting events. Type in "plane tickets to Hawaii" and you get a bunch of sites that sell you plane tickets to Hawaii. I don't know how far you'd have to go in the results for "tickets to Hawaii" to find "Book 'em, Dano," but I'm guessing it's pretty far. Even if you're the kind of idiot who just types in "Hawaii," three of the first four results are tourism-related.

Wife: "Seriously, did you price out tickets?"
Husband: "How to beat a traffic ticket! Ten proven methods traffic courts don't want you to know!"
Wife: "What are you talking about?"
Husband: "Talk turkey!"
Wife: "What?"
Husband: "Talk live with hot singles in your area! They're waiting."
Wife: "Who's waiting?"
Slogan on screen: "What has search overload done to us?"

Uh... nothing? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with this commercial? Just for the hell of it, I also typed "tickets to Hawaii" into Yahoo and and got similar results to Google - Yahoo even had all of their top results relating to flights. Then I typed it into's engine, and got basically the same results (although fewer of theirs seemed to deal with flights, which is vaguely hilarious).

I realize that not everyone in the world is an internet expert; I'm old enough to remember a time without the internet, but young enough that it's been a major part of most of my life (and certainly my entire adult life). But COME ON. If you know enough to access the internet, I fail to see what is doing for you that every other search engine can't. It's like they're trying to trick old people into thinking that this is how Google works. "Hey, boomers! Use! Did you know that Google will vomit a stream of tangentially related non-sequiturs like a mental patient if you search using it? It's true! Uh, don't bother trying to verify that, it's just going to lull you into a false sense of security with a successful initial search..." Their use of the term "decision engine" only plays this up all the more. "Are you too old and computer illiterate to browse through a page of search results? We'll decide for you!" Never mind that I've used Bing a couple times now and fail to see where it's "deciding" any more than Google when it gives you... a page of search results. At least Google has the "I'm feeling lucky" button.

This ad is the rough equivalent of Burger King making an ad in which they claim that if you go into a McDonald's and order a hamburger, you'll get a bag of diseased muskrats. (Not that I'd put that past Crispin Porter + Bogusky.) It's also exactly as effective. Anyone who knows anything about the internet knows you're full of shit, Microsoft, and this commercial is enough to send me lunging for the remote every time.


capewood said...

I run a blog called Capewood's Collections. When I type Capewood into Google, my blog is the 2nd entry. When I type Capewood into Bing I get multiple hits for other blogs which referenced my blog, but it never finds my blog. A simple example, I know, but if this is an example of how much better Bing is than Google, it failed.

Quivering P. Landmass said...

This commercial is visually painful as well. Why do we have to watch two overweight people getting ready for bed? Too much double chin action, and unfortunate acne scaring on the woman.

If we have to suffer an unrealistic depiction of internet search engines, can't we at least have unrealistically pretty people to match?

Windier E. Megatons said...

That's probably a bit extreme. I don't mind seeing a commercial that casts realistic-looking (and, for that matter, minority) actors, and anyway it's not like this is an ad for Victoria's Secret.

Anonymous said...

I think the commercial is hilarious. Completely wrong but Hilarious. I've tested Bing, and Google, and the only thing I like about Bing is the ability to play a video by mousing over it, The results in regular searches are far worse than google.