Microsoft this week launched a series of adverts in the UK to promote its Bing search engine, with the slogan ‘Bing and decide’. The adverts claim that we, as a people, are suffering from information overload by using other, more successful, search engines and we can’t find a simple answer to a simple question.
One of the adverts showed a woman in a train station asking a man which tube she should take for Euston Station, where the man promptly offered every piece of information relating to Euston Station… save for what she asked.
The idea of the advert is that if you use Bing, instead of say, Google, you’ll cut out all of the useless information and get straight to the nub of the matter.
But will you?
We asked Google and Bing exactly that question, which tube is it for Euston Station?
You’d think, seeing as Microsoft are making such a fuss over how their search engine gives answers, rather than ‘information overload’, they’d have made sure that the answer to this question was succinct and accurate… you’d think.
Here is what Google offered:
Wikipedia is first and second, goes without saying. The third result is AllinLondon.co.uk – which offers loads of info, but not necessarily the answer to our question. Fourth up is metazone.co.uk – which has the answer in great detail, showing how we can plan our route. Nice one Google, third site, fourth result down had the answer.
Here is what Bing offered, despite being the question asked in a multi-million pound advertising campaign:
First two again are Wikipedia results, same as Google. Next is AllinLondon.co.uk again, same as Google. Not much difference so far, the same information overload. The fourth result is another page for AllinLondon.co.uk, showing restaurants near Euston – not really what we asked, but nice to know.
The fifth result is alwaystouchout.com, which shows us development projects in London. We’re getting a bit off track now. We’re then offered davros.org, which shows us a history of London Underground lines… after this we gave up.
So, which search engine answered the question in a succinct manner? Google. Which search engine offered reams of information that failed to answer our question? Bing.
Nice one Microsoft, may as well have just shot your own foot while you were at it. Here’s the advert anyway, in case you think we’ve made this up.
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