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Microsoft's Bing decides on bribery

In its first-ever TV ad for Cashback, Microsoft is appealing to your more exalted decision-making instincts: those residing near your pocket.

The new Bing Dynasty desperately wants you to love it.

And it understands you so well in these times of penury and desperation that it knows you have certain vulnerabilities that might be worth exploring: the vulnerabilities that lurk in the area around your pocket.

Therefore Microsoft has launched its first-ever TV ad for Cashback, a nifty system that gives you a little money when you buy something vital--such as sneakers or a camera--through a Bing search.

It does seem like splendidly commercial bribery. However, I do wish that the ad might have been a little less prosaic and a little more inspiring.

You see, if you're a decision engine rather than a search engine, you have to aspire to higher goals. It really isn't enough to produce an ad that might have been the work of JC Penney or KMart in one of their more awkward moments.

I would have preferred something that stirred the emotions, rather than something that feels like it's going through the motions.

Bribery should be alluring, not merely an everyday solution to an annoying practical problem.

Still, you know that even with this mundane execution, it won't be hard for some to decide that binging for your supper is better than singing for it.