Microsoft’s anti-Google advertising campaign: scroogled backfires

scroogledScroogled: Yep that is the name of an Anti-Google campaign started by none other than Microsoft in an attempt to highlight the issues that Google is forcing its users to endure such as the way it handles Advertising on its main property: Google.com search.

But is the negative campaign just likely to damage to Microsoft? I’m not personally a fan of negative advertising which somehow feels rather a little immature. I can understand the reasons why Microsoft have chosen this approach, but shouldn’t they allow the products to speak for themselves?

Switch Google users from Gmail to Outlook?

The aim of the Microsoft campaign is to try to help try and motivate Gmail and Google users away to the Microsoft email offering now called Outlook, with a suitable property address which is easy to remember: Outlook.com.

However we don’t know that Google users are concerned or even know about the issues surrounding data usage and privacy let alone care enough to switch. So could the MS campaign end up misfiring and hurt the image of Microsoft by presenting itself as a victim, but then those in the know, will remember the “Browser wars” which ended up with Microsoft heavily fined for anti-competitive behaviour and a slap on wrist. Now who is the victim?

Scroogled campaign likely to backfire?

We think the user see’s Google as a straightforward innovative company that is increasingly relevant for them, so such a negative campaign from Microsoft is likely just to damage Microsoft as I think there is a perception for many that Google provides free tools for users whilst Microsoft would still rather charge for the same products.

When Gmail launched, I was paying Microsoft Hotmail for extra storage on my email account. I think you got 2MB free – yes two whole megabytes for free. I was paying for more, 20MB every year. But that is the kind of storage that enables just 10 photos to be stored!

When Gmail came along, it offered 1GB (one whole gigabyte for free) and allowed easy search facility. That was a real killer for Hotmail and I immediately ditched my Hotmail account and saved money.

In order to go back to Microsoft for many users, they should be offering more than just another Gmail, they have to offer something worth switching for and being a ‘me too’ is simply not enough. So instead of negative campaigning, MS should offer something of real value when people join Outlook.com, other than simply expecting the end user to side with poor MS because it feels bullied by the big G [Google].