Microsoft Bing to sponsor The Simpsons

17/03/2010

Microsoft is to sponsor a UK television programme for the first time as part of its multi-million pound Bing advertising campaign.

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The US software giant will carry adverts alongside The Simpsons on Channel 4, replacing the government's Change4Life campaign.

Bing adverts showing family members using the search engine will be aired before and after each weekday episode on Channel 4 and Channel 4 + 1, as well as during commercial breaks.

They join Microsoft's standalone Bing adverts, which were launched in the UK this week and promote the product as a "decision engine" capable of offering richer search functions and results than competitors.

Microsoft hopes that the advertising blitz will see it gain ground on Google in the UK, having already wrestled away a small percentage of the company's internet search market share in the US over previous months.

Although Google still accounts for the vast majority of internet searches on both sides of the Atlantic, the Windows-maker hopes an aggressive multi-channel marketing campaign will help it make inroads in the lucrative search market.

Interestingly, a newly published report by Hitwise has suggested that Google is the fourth largest source of US traffic for the Bing search engine.

It estimates that over four per cent of these searches came from people either clicking on Microsoft's paid-for adverts on Google or Googling Bing after hearing about it.

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