Is Microsoft Betting on the Wrong Shoes?

    October 22, 2007

When I was in school, all the cool kids wore Nike tennis shoes. Brilliant white leather with just a green or blue Nike swoosh-thingy.

imageUnfortunately for me, I decided to buy a pair of Diadora tennis shoes. Let’s just say, that didn’t make me a cool kid. Still, I put a brave face on it, telling the other kids, “you just wait, other kids will soon realize that Diadora shoes are better, and will start buying them instead.”

Why am I sharing this childhood flashback? It seems Microsoft would like us all to believe that the cool kids will soon focus on display advertising. They’re convinced that “search marketing” is the equivalent of Nike, and that pretty soon marketers will shift their dollars to Diadora “display ads.”

“Search has been a significant driver of growth” for the online ad industry, said McAndrews, the head of advertising and publishing at Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft. “In the next several years, it will not be as much of a driver. Some of the emphasis will shift more toward display ads, toward video, toward rich media.”

Note to Microsoft: the cool kids still buy Nike! ;-)