Does going on overboard anti-campaigns and being competitive imply the same thing? Maybe today it does. With brand and organizational competitions reaching peak points, organizations try to be one up on their competition at whatever the price involved. Take Scroogled as a reference to this statement.
Microsoft which launched a very direct attack on Google’s paid shopping list initiative from May 2012 onwards by launching Scroogled, actually seemed to have launched a very well thought out and executed campaign which on one end promised a very interesting promotion for its very own Bing, and on the other hand it carried a negative weightage of google search. As mentioned on a prior article here, Microsoft even went on to the initiative of making Scroogled a social effort by using its understanding with facebook as well as twitter. The one particular statement that I still remember from the launch is “We want to know, have you been duped by a bad search? Share your story on Facebook”. A very outright statement which says loud and clear if you are getting screwed by google come to bing.
The particular platform although too outright bullish of competitiors, to be actually respected as a marketing campaign, never the less managed to create its own little following and generated a positive vibe for Microsoft too. However what I am not able to fathom is what could be the reason behind snapping on to every other product of a competitor as something that is evil and should not be used. The reason I quote this is because of the Scroogled extension that Microsoft has now done on the Gmail.
While I was one of the initial viewers to actually feel that Microsoft might have come up with a gem of a, albeit wicked platform to provide a definite mileage to its own, often sagging services, with this new addition to the Scroogled, I am not sure that stands any more. For readers heres a few whys and the answers to the questions.
Why Scroogled screws Microsoft more than Google?
While Microsoft did launch scroogled with a view to show case how google actually screws users and in turn tried to screw google, the extension of the initiative to cover Gmail under its aura could be a self screwing effort because:
- Scroogled seems to be more of a reflection of Microsoft’s anxiety to get its users back, which doesnot work on a user this days because users definitely prefer a better offering than a negative publicity effort of more popular services or products
- Creating an uproar over a product which people use as a habit in the market would hardly affect people, because a user would in effect use it any way because of being habituated to it. A negative vibe generating platform would definitely be ignored.
- The negative vibe generator concept could even work if it was an wannabe newbie in the market doing it, but for one of the most respected and venerated brand names, this could very starkly imply that,”We aren’t exactly doing good, so would love it if you could use our services because we are the good guys and they are real bad”. Juvenile and desperate is what would be the reserved comment of many a user.
- Furthermore stating a all in all statement, Google might be or may not be evil in its products, but then Microsoft isn’t definitely coming out with anything better in its products. So on the hind side campaigns like this actually end up exposing chinks in your own armour.
How Microsoft Could Have Gone About Scroogled?
To be fair Microsoft might have just tried to get itself back on the user’s track, but the path it chose might not have the desired effect. More than such an effort, what might actually work is Microsoft going back to the drawing room to analyse what are the pain areas that Google is causing with its services or products and how it might solve them. Untill it does that, however much the depth of its Scroogled campaign all it could end up doing is screw itself because as one of my colleagues stated, “hitting pain areas of the market with something creative is definitely better than hitting the market with anti-competition campaigns”.
Conclusively in the words of another one of my colleagues, “you want to create a negative media hype and publicity, do it, but at least don’t do it via a platform which you endorse. Screws your own rather than screwing google”. Which is actually what scroogled is all about.