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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

September 13, 2011 at 7:18 AM

What do Sarah Michelle Gellar, “Vampire Diaries” and “Gossip Girl” have to do with Microsoft? (Psst: It involves a Bing – CW hookup)

ANAHEIM, Calif. — A fun bit of news before Build, Microsoft’s big conference for developers at which more details about Windows 8 are expected to be unveiled, gets under way this morning.

Microsoft search engine Bing and TV network CW announced a marketing partnership to launch the CW’s fall season and to promote Bing, especially among those ages 18 to 34 — the CW’s core demographic.

The CW, home to shows including “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries” and “Supernatural,” as well as the new show “Ringer” starring Sarah Michelle Gellar of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” fame, has, since its beginning, targeted the young adult audience.

Bing, which is slowly making inroads on search giant Google, wants to reach that demographic. Though Bing’s share of U.S. searches went up from less than 10 percent in August 2010 to 13 percent this August, that’s still small compared to Google’s 65 percent share.

With the CW partnership (which includes CW temporarily redubbing its “TV to talk about” slogan to “TV to Bing about), Bing is hoping to increase its share by reaching a younger audience that’s especially into social media and that frequently uses search.

“Connecting with the 18-34 demographic can be a challenge and the ‘TV to Bing About’ campaign has been designed to break-through in a number of ways,” Microsoft said in a news release.

Many of the CW shows’ fall premieres will feature 30-second video vignettes featuring talent from the shows discussing their upcoming season and using Bing in what Microsoft terms a “contextually relevant way.” For example, “Gossip Girl” costume designer Eric Daman will discuss searching locally for best purse prices and seeing which brands his friends like best on Facebook. The videos will also be posted on this website.

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