Bing Taps Jay-Z, Facebook For Marketing Push

A Game Linked to the Social Network Aims to Get Rapper's Fans Off the Google Habit

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It's hard to imagine marketing opposites more polar than Microsoft's Bing and chief competitor Google.

Jay -Z
Jay -Z
Until its Super Bowl ad last February, Google hadn't done much marketing at all, leaving the blue links speak for themselves. Microsoft, on the other hand, is taking a more traditional approach to branding -- and that means spending big and working with Jay -Z, a guy with his own huge fan base.

The entertainment mogul (and Beyonce's husband) is releasing -- literally -- all 300 pages of his autobiographical book, "Decoded." Each page is placed somewhere in 15 cities around the world and fans can find clues to where the pages are by logging into The contest lasts until Nov. 20 and 200 winners will get prizes.

"This project is built on Bing maps," said Lisa Gurry, director of marketing for Bing at Microsoft. "We are looking for ways to grow the Bing audience and we definitely see this as an innovative way to introduce Bing to a new audience."

This project is one of the first to come out of Bing's new partnership with Facebook announced last week. Facebook Connect is used to authenticate people when they register into the contest, and Jay -Z's as well as Bing's Facebook pages will be giving out clues to contest participants. Part of the deal is that once contestants find the pages, they will share them with their friends.

Jay -Z has about 4 million fans across Twitter and Facebook. "But that's just a small percentage of his actual fan base," said Ms. Gurry. "We found that his demographic has heavy search tendencies." The game was produced by creative agency Droga5 and launches today.

Irina Slutsky has been in the Bay Area tech scene since 2004. She worked as an old-school newspaper reporter in Florida and New Jersey. She was born in Kazakhstan, like Borat.
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