Microsoft Live Search: Left, Right and Sony

lvr_fight_800x600.jpgBranded search terms are more effective than generic search terms, according to a survey conducted by Microsoft and comScore for Sony. Following a two month online panel conducted by comScore of Sony ads on Microsoft Live Search last summer, the survey found that search ads with branded terms were 15 percent more effective at driving brand lift than those with generic terms. They also increased the likelihood of viewers recommending Sony to others by 14.8 percent and that branded search ads yielded a 14.5 percent increase in purchase intent.

As the research was conducted of the Sony brand, the electronics company declined to give Microsoft permission to describe the base numbers associated with the survey and held them to only describing the proportional changes, Beth Uyenco, global research director for Microsoft digital advertising solutions told me. She also said it took several months for approvals to pass between the two companies before the results could now be released. Even so “we found that branded search works much more effectively at the bottom of the funnel, in terms of lifting things like purchase intent and likelihood to recommend. Generic search works well among consumers who are still in the very broad mindset.”

Uyenco also said the survey found that aside from actually visiting a store to handle a product before purchasing it, “search is the second most useful tool in product research, and we kinda of knew that.”

Separately, Microsoft Live Search is getting into the political swing of things in this election year, and has launched a “political satire” version of its Live Search site. Titled LeftvsRight, the site lets users not only search for whatever term they are interested in, but it also includes snarky comments from two commentators akin to a “Face the Nation” program. The two video hosts, Patrick O’Neil representing the liberal left and Britt Hayes the conservative right, trade barbs as search results are displayed between them. The site was created by McCann Worldgroup San Francisco.

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