Beating a Dead Horse? Microsoft Rebrands adCenter as Bing Ads

Bing Ads LogoMicrosoft adCenter is so lame. Pitiful. Just shameful. In fact, it’s so lousy that even Microsoft thought it was about time to neglect this godforsaken advertising brand. Um… the name that is… not the whole platform {you nitwits!}, which is still totally awesomely rocks (or at least that’s what Microsoft wants you to believe).

So yeah, from this day onward adCenter is dead and instead you shall say Bing Ads. “What else has changed,” small minority of you advertisers eagerly asks as you gaze naively into the screen… “nothing more really,” I respond apathetically, “it is just a rebranding effort, so keep on trying to reinstate your banned Google AdWords account!”

It seems that the new Bing Ads advertising destination is just Microsoft’s attempt to invigorate {one would even scornfully say to revive} its search advertising platform. Just an effort to replace the name which somewhat conceptually perceived as anachronistic and unpopular, with a name which is younger and perhaps even hip.

Will this marketing attempt make some serious change as advertisers will flock into the rebranded advertising platform? I doubt if such a meaningful shift will occur due to this rebranding move by itself. Eventually, advertisers are chasing consumers and not platforms! Sure, the platform needs to convey a modernistic fresh sense, but that alone won’t give the edge over similar platforms (AdWords in this case).

In order to grab more significant search advertising share out of Google hands, Microsoft (alongside its strategic partner Yahoo) first MUST attain more search engine share. Unsurprisingly, these two share metrics mostly perfectly aligns with each other. Here’s the quarterly U.S. search advertising spend of Google vs Bing/Yahoo according to a report by IgnitionOne:

Quarterly Search PPC Spned Google-Bing/Yahoo

Now here’s the U.S. search engine market share on Q2 2012 according to StatCounter:

Search Engine Share Q2 2012
Google: 79.47%, Bing: 9.79%, Yahoo: 9.12%

See how the two are almost absolutely correlated? How a roughly 80%-20% search share distribution (Google vs Bing/Yahoo) is synchronized with about the same 80%-20% advertising share? There are no tricks in this game and I remain highly skeptical if any new rebranding endeavor will alter those market forces.

For Microsoft/Yahoo sake I hope that the rebranding of adCenter as Bing Ads is just one (small) part of an overall search strategy to take on Google search advertising monopoly. Because if not, that’s just pathetic.