Despite some crafty word play and possibly a good chunk of change spent in marketing efforts, Microsoft's Scroogled campaign has been receiving some online backlash from viewers and bloggers for being too combative.
The message behind Scroogled is that Gmail users are subject to targeted ad campaigns as a result of the company reading and selling users' personal email information. This big brother approach to conversion is designed to strike fear or outrage in the hearts of these "misinformed" Gmail-ers and send them running to the "safety" of Microsoft's Outlook.com.
Unfortunately, most of the outrage has been directed toward the poor attempt of Microsoft's marketing team to come up with a better idea for promoting their email platform than mud-slinging propaganda.
Thanks to Facebook and cut-throat advertising these days, I think people are mostly aware of online privacy issues, but is fear of a conspiracy enough of a factor to encourage a user to switch to a platform they know nothing about? I'd have to say no.
Sadly enough, the marketing idea may have taken off, if only it was focused more on Microsoft's actual product. Nothing is wrong with jabbing a bit at your competition (remember the "I'm a Mac" commercials?), but don't forget to point out your product's defining features. If anything Scroogled is less of a publicity move than it is a public service announcement. Thanks for the heads up, Microsoft!
Do you think Microsoft's "Scroogled" campaign was effective?