Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bing's magical minute Manifesto tour

I've watched the Bing 'Manifesto' ad several times and maybe I'm having an off-day, but I'm not getting it. The key message seems to be that, if we only had Bing, there'd have been no financial meltdown. Or that we fiddled around on the interwebs watching cats play piano, cats riding on electric vacuums, and other signs of the apocalypse, while the economy burned.

Verbally and visually, it's a very busy, muddled ad for a 'decision engine' (as Microsoft calls it) that is meant to cut through the clutter of other search engine results. Perhaps that's appropriate when talking about life before Bing. But even when the script flips to the brave new world Bing will usher in, it's still driven mainly by that kind of Michael Bay-ADD-nauseating quick cut that creative types mistake for cutting edge, artistic or impactful.

As for the images in the ad, they are nothing you haven't seen before, and I'm not talking about the wealth of familiar YouTube clips at the outset (nice Irony: Google, Bing's competitor, owns YouTube). A little nod to David Cronenberg, Stanley Kubrick and Terry Gilliam here, a few inspiring images of aspiring athletes and inventive children there. Plus, not only will Bing help you resolve that pesky mathematical/chemical formula you've been working on, it will transform paper airplanes into real ones. So it's like a fairy godmother, or something.

In other words, I've seen Manifesto Bing, and I've decided: it's not music to my ears. I'll stick to Roxy Music's Manifesto for now.

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