Google has hired Bing exec Danielle Tiedt to lead consumer marketing for YouTube, Ad Age has learned.
Ms. Tiedt, general manager of Microsoft's Bing, led the search engine's latest brand push "Bing is for Doing." She was also involved in the $100 million ad blitz that launched Bing in 2009. She will become VP-marketing at YouTube.
The hire comes as YouTube launches 96 entertainment "channels," a $100 million investment in original content in hopes of creating TV-like appointment viewing, and attracting TV-like brand advertising dollars. The first of those channels have already launched, and YouTube is eager to help them lure audiences.
"We are excited to have someone of the caliber of Danielle Tiedt on board as our VP of marketing," Google said in a statement. "She will play a pivotal role as we move forward into our next phase of growth."
The hire signals a bigger focus at Google on what the YouTube brand means to consumers. Once known mostly for funny amateur "viral" videos and music videos, YouTube is attempting to make the transition to an entertainment brand, a real alternative to other forms of video entertainment, such as TV.
Whether this signals YouTube brand advertising is an open question. Google as whole is increasingly becoming a high-profile advertiser, with big-budget TV ads during events like the Grammys. While those ads get a lot of attention, Google generally focuses on marketing that shows the utility of the platform itself, creative projects like the YouTube Symphony Orchestra.
YouTube had been looking for a top marketer for the past last few months, according to one executive familiar with the process. Ms. Tiedt has spent at least the last 15 years at Microsoft, primarily on MSN, according to her LinkedIn profile. At Bing, she oversaw a budget estimated at more than $118 million in U.S. measured-media spending in 2010, according to Ad Age DataCenter.
Ms. Tiedt and Microsoft did not respond immediately to requests for comment from Ad Age .
The hire is a blow to Bing, which is fighting for market share against Google but succeeding mostly in taking it away from Yahoo. Marketing Bing was about getting consumers to try a different brand in search, which few people think is broken. YouTube, on the other hand, is a brand everyone knows and uses, much like Google's search.
Rather than try a new product, Ms. Tiedt will be asking users to think of YouTube in a different way.
Google, primarily from YouTube, was the top online video property in the U.S. in December, with 157.2 million unique viewers, according to ComScore. Of the 23 hours of video the average viewer watched online, almost eight hours were on Google.