Bing, the search engine from Microsoft, is known for the breathtaking images on its homepage. Every time I search on Bing, I end up discovering yet another beautiful new visual of this planet. The homepage that features the work of renowned photographers has now opened its doors for amateur photographers too. Bing has teamed up with Hungama Digital Services, one of India’s leading digital advertising agencies to launch #TheBigShot photography campaign.
The 6 week contest invites entries under 8 themes such as People and Cultures of India, Emotions, Wildlife, Birds, Landscapes, Cityscapes and Night Life, In the lap of Nature, Macro, Micro, flora and fauna and Abstract. A celebrated jury comprising leading photographers of India such as Hari Menon, Rathika Ramaswamy, Venky of Photriya Photography and Dr. Ceaser Sengupta will not only be screening the entries, they will also aid amateur photographers with tips and tutorials to hone their photographic skills.
The jury will declare a weekly winner in each of the categories, who will have their image featured on the Bing homepage for a day. Bing will also enlarge the image to poster size and send it across to them. Besides being featured in the downloadable wallpaper pack of the Microsoft website, the winning entries will be featured prominently on Bing and MSN India Facebook pages.
#TheBigShot on social
Currently in week 2, the campaign is being actively promoted on Bing India Facebook page with ‘Wildlife and Birds’ as the theme of the week. Aspiring contestants have to follow the Bing India Facebook page and submit their photographs as per the theme of the week. A Facebook app on the page provides a cool, one-page snapshot of the campaign with a link to the Terms & Conditions.
However, the app does not have a provision to upload photographs. In order to participate, one has to mail their entries to TheBigShotIn@outlook.com. The Bing India team will review the image and will upload it on its Facebook page within 8-12 hours. The photo submissions have been uploaded into Facebook albums with the theme name.
Crowdsourcing goes mainstream
Google, the search engine giant undertook massive online promotions for its search tool last year. Google’s ‘Reunion ad’ found a spot in YouTube’s most viewed ads of 2013. In a space dominated by the term ‘Google it’ for anybody searching for information on the internet, a search engine like Bing has an uphill journey. Still, Bing has managed its spot and often been compared to be better in terms of Google. While the search engine number game is on, promotional campaigns are seeking to connect with the online community.
Taking its celebrated homepage to its users and inviting them to contribute is a cool gesture by Bing. #TheBigShot is not just a photography campaign, it helps nurture a feeling of belonging-ness in web users. I would be thrilled to bits if my shot makes it to the Bing homepage. The concept is good but the campaign could have been more social by enabling photo submissions through the Facebook app itself.
I am yet to take the #TheBigShot, hope you do in case you are the budding photographer looking for his big break.