Google's unprecedented decision to take out a major advert at the Super Bowl is likely to have been a strategic move to step up the battle against Microsoft Bing, website marketing specialists have suggested.
Online PR News – 19-February-2010 – – Google's unprecedented decision to take out a major advert at the Super Bowl is likely to have been a strategic move to step up the battle against Microsoft Bing, website marketing specialists have suggested.
The one-minute commercial aired to hundreds of thousands of American football fans on February 7th featured a simple Google search box and told a Parisian love story narrative through search queries.
Google is estimated to have paid $5 million (£3.2 million) for the advertising slot.
Analysts and media pundits believe that by taking advantage of one of the most high-profile - and exclusive - advertising venues in the US market, Google was effectively "staking its ground" as king of the search engines.
Early last month, Google reported a year-on-year revenue growth of 17 per cent, with impressive fourth-quarter profits of $6.67 billion (£4.12bn).
David Hallerman, a senior website marketing analyst for eMarketer, said Google made the move not so much to establish itself, but to take away a little market share from its competitors.
"It's a way of staking ground," he said, adding that the Super Bowl was the perfect choice for Google to ensure it made the biggest possible impact because "the Super Bowl is a one-of-a-kind venue for advertisers."
Mr Hallerman compared the advert to Pixar's recent box office smash Up, because it created a heartfelt picture of a relationship without audio or major on-screen action.
"Bringing emotion through search queries and showing the life behind it is extremely effective advertising," said Mr Hallerman.
However, he noted that the battle of the search engines was far from over, adding that Google's competition from Microsoft was not to be underestimated.
Clint Boulton, writing for eWeek, notes that Microsoft Bing was used for 11 per cent of search engine requests in the US in January, stealing market share from Google and sinking search rival Yahoo!
Google notched 65.4 per cent of US searches, down from 65.7 per cent in December.
Meanwhile, Yahoo! claimed 17 per cent of the market, down from 17.3 per cent a month earlier.
However, the deal that Yahoo! signed with Microsoft last July essentially places Bing in place of Yahoo! search and Yahoo!'s ad sales in place of Microsoft's.
In this arrangement, notes Mr Boulton, Microsoft in reality has a 28 per cent of the market - which poses a serious threat to Google.