Microsoft to sponsor 'The Simpsons' on C4

Friday, March 12 2010, 12:22 GMT

By Andrew Laughlin,

Microsoft's Bing search engine will reportedly replace the government's Chage4Life campaign as sponsor of The Simpsons on Channel 4.

The software giant intends to invest millions of pounds in a wide-ranging advertising campaign for Bing, including sponsorship of the long-running animated series on Channel 4 weeknights.

Under the three-month deal, which is worth a reported 500,000, Bing idents will appear at the start and end of each episode, as well as around the ad break.

Microsoft hopes a multi-platform advertising campaign will help Bing compete more effectively with Google in the lucrative online search market.

According to Nielsen statistics for January, Microsoft and Yahoo! both handle 4% of online searches, way behind Google's 86% market share.

Using the slogan "Bing and Decide", the adverts will focus on Bing's ability to enable more informed choices by depicting users suffering from 'information overload' which only Microsoft's search engine can cure.

Speaking about the promotional campaign, Microsoft UK managing director of consumer and online Ashley Highfield said: "We're committed to investing in search at a local level to deliver value for our advertisers.

"The ad campaign brings to life the concept of Bing as a decision engine, a tool that both cuts through the information overload and offers a new search experience. We're confident that this will help grow our user base, offering advertisers an alternative search solution."

The Bing idents will replace the Change4Life campaign, which started its sponsorship of The Simpson on Channel 4 and Channel 4+1 last October.