I awoke on the floor of my house today with a thumping, bumping sound bashing lumps into my ears.
Yes, someone had called me to play a winning Bing jingle over my cell phone. This was a friend, indeed. A friend with no conscience.
I heard a little techno beat, the voice of a distant cousin of the Pet Shop Boys and the oft-repeated phrase "Bing goes the Internet."
When it ended, my friend shouted into the phone, at least I think he shouted, that this ditty had won its creator $500 in a competition sponsored by Microsoft.
He also shouted that the first thing I should do after I had scrubbed my armpits with sandpaper and removed myself from the shower was to watch the video on YouTube.
Because I do pretty much what everyone tells me, I went to YouTube and espied a chap called Jonathan Mann, a Mann who has decided to write a song every day.
This seems to be a far more noble pursuit than, say, dropping a bomb every day. So I was relatively touched to see Jonathan Mann dancing in a very precise and slightly parodic manner to his composition.
I then discovered that his oeuvre had been pilloried. Words like "awful" winged their way toward Bing--even the phrase "worst ever."
These seem like strange words to be directed at a jingle. Any jingle. Even the word "jingle" is from some time gone by and awry.
Brands rarely use jingles these days. They just pay U2 or Coldplay a lot of money for an original track. Truly the "$5 footlong" era is somewhat to the Peyton Place side of Tony the Tiger.
So, yes, one imagines that Microsoft thought it might have a little amusement with its jingle competition. $500 does not signify seriousness.
However, Mann seems to have been a little perturbed by the criticism, specifically that of MG Siegler at TechCrunch. So to prove his agility and, frankly not insignificant wit, he penned a heartfelt and quite harmonious homily, and uploaded it before the blogosphere's bile had soaked into the organic cotton of his T-shirt.
So you see, for a mere $500, Microsoft has been rewarded with significant publicity and joyous new music, all amounting, no doubt, to a little bada-Bing cha-ching.
A rather nice day at the Bing and Office office, no?