Google and Microsoft are continuing their war for user loyalty on the email front. Both companies are extending past their normal pitch, with Google releasing an “email intervention kit” and Microsoft launching an ad that condemns Gmail for “reading your mail.”
The Microsoft Ad
In the face of Gmail’s ad and intervention kit (discussed previously), Microsoft has unleashed an ad campaign seemingly designed to smear Gmail for reading user emails and monetizing the email platform. You can check out the full video here.
The scene depicts “Gmailman,” and features a rhyming song telling users how Gmailman is “peeking at every subject,” “probing every sentence,” and “his ads are unsolicited.” The advertisement then shows Gmailman as a postal worker who’s looking through the mail of recipients before delivery, and who hands ads to each user along with the letter. The ad ends with the line “Microsoft Office 365 – A better solution for your business.”
Ludicrous Smear Campaigns?
On YouTube, there are as many people disliking the video as there are people liking it, and many of the comments bash on Microsoft for taking the mudslinging angle. But is Microsoft targeting something of real concern?
Nope. Not really. What Microsoft seems to be pitching is the idea that the automated contextual discovery for Gmail’s ad system is somehow a breach of privacy, despite the fact that the data isn’t stored. It also tries to make a problem out of the ad monetization system, even though Office 365 comes with a subscription fee. Correct me if I’m wrong, but most users prefer not having to pay, and are just fine with Gmail’s unobtrusive ads.
Of course, Microsoft Office 365 really is a step up on all fronts, email services included. It certainly seems odd that the first big ad is directed, not at the advantages of Office 365, but “flaws” that no one cares about in a major competitor.
[Sources include: GottaBeMobile]