Microsoft Bing's Farmville ad campaign up for award

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As if attracting over 400,000 new Facebook fans for their client wasn't reward enough, the minds behind this Spring's inventive Farvmville-based ad campaign for Microsoft's Bing search engine are up for a major marketing award.

Ad agency Deep Focus and social marketing agency SVnetwork are up for the OMMA (the Online Media, Marketing and Advertising) Award for Best Social Campaign thanks to their work on what's officially dubbed the "Bing Farmville Engagement." As you may remember, that 'Engagement' offered free Farmville Farm Cash to anyone willing to become a Facebook "fan" of Bing, attracting much needed attention to Microsoft's new search effort.

The promotion helped Bing spring past Google in the "Facebook fans" race, but it also aided the search engine in some more important metrics. Seven in ten people who took part in the offer ended up using Bing in the next month, according to an SVnetwork press release, and those users were "twice as likely to search with Bing than users who discovered Bing through other channels," according to the campaign's OMMA nomination page.

In what might be the first ever official recognition of Farm Art as a marketing tool, the nomination also recognized Deep Focus for "using the farm as a canvas" in creating the in-game version of the Bing logo, pictured above.

The campaign has already been named one of the "Best Ever Social Media Campaigns" by Forbes magazine, although given the age of social media marketing as an industry, perhaps that's not saying too much.
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