With over 3.5 million hits, Microsoft winds down Scroogled advertisements

Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign has been a concentrated effort to attack Google’s core values and paint them as a company who invades your privacy. While the campaign kicked off around the Thanksgiving holiday timeline, it looks like the Scroogled campaign has been put to bed, for now.

The marketing campaign was directly targeted at Google and its antics relating to user privacy. Everything from paid shopping results to user emails being scanned for advertisements was part of the marketing effort by Microsoft.

There have been mixed reviews about the advertisements with some saying that the made Microsoft look desperate at finding a way to knock Google off of its pedestal to others loving the fact that Microsoft finally took some deep shots at Google’s antics. Whatever the end result, Scroogled run looks to be over, for now, as the company will likely look for new ways to build brand equity and increase its user base.

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Even though the Scroogled campaign was not loved by all, it is good to see Microsoft going out and being aggressive with is marketing approach. Apple famously launched a smear campaign against Microsoft with its "I’m a PC" commercials that many believed to be one of the best campaigns in history, but you have to walk a fine line between substance and message to have a tasteful delivery.

With this campaign winding down, Microsoft has just launched a massive Outlook.com campaign that will run for some time to help build the brand awareness around the new email service.

We reached out to Microsoft to confirm that the scroogled marketing campaign has been completed; we will update this post with their response. 

We reached out to Microsoft to confirm that Scroolged was coming to an end and Microsoft provided us with the following comment:

The Scroogled campaign has sparked a dialogue that shows how much consumers care about their privacy, and how strongly they feel about the fact that Google goes through their personal emails to sell ads. More than 3.5 million people visited Scroogled.com, and over 114k signed a petition asking Google to stop going through their Gmail. While the ad portion of this phase of the consumer education campaign has finished its scheduled run, this important conversation about privacy continues, and so does this important consumer choice.

Editor’s Note: After receiving comment from Microsoft, the original title of this article “As Microsoft winds down Scroogled advertisements, Outlook.com lights a few fires” was amended to the current title.

Source: KQED | Image via Microsoft

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32 Comments

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I don't get it... Microsoft SkyDrive doesn't allow users to post whatever they want to their private folders, as we know from people mistakenly having their accounts disabled for "nude photos" (which they weren't), so invasion of privacy is pretty rampant wherever you look on the cloud.

Lots of companies do ads like this that "attack" their competitors, aaple, Samsung, so what? In my opinion it's part of business and nothing new. It's silly how some need to rush in and seem to defend Google or MS, come on guys.

Never liked trash marketing, and never will. Products should sell on how well they perform and what they bring to the table. Companies need to worry about their products first (seems MS has been having several issues) and worry about the competition second. They spend a lot of time trash talking GMAIL and then their own email system goes down for many.

Show us what your product can do as compared to the competition...but leave the trash talk to the kids.

Great campaign. If google and it's apologists didn't like the ads its probably because they know its true. Don't like the message, then fix the problem.

Google has a privacy problem, a rather large one.

I didn't like it because it was misleading and desperate. Read the comments before you for an explanation.

As for me, I've always known that Google does it. I've been using Gmail exclusively for 7 years now. I don't plan on switching.

All companies have security issues. Things are changing a lot everyday and no company can keep up. What MS pretty much indicated was that physical people were sitting down sifting through people's emails. Which was FALSE.

MS is just desperate because their services are not talking off as they like. So they resort to Apple tactics and trash the competition.

techbeck said,

MS is just desperate because their services are not talking off as they like. So they resort to Apple tactics and trash the competition.

talking about desperate, %25 of the comments in this post are from you trying to defend googles actions.

vcfan said,

talking about desperate, %25 of the comments in this post are from you trying to defend googles actions.

Yup. I am desperate because I have a lot to gain from Google's success...../s

I have no financial gain, or otherwise, if Google does good or not. So I fail to see how I am desperate here. MS is running a scare campaign and misleading people. Excuse me for setting the record straight.

vcfan said,

talking about desperate, %25 of the comments in this post are from you trying to defend googles actions.


Speaking truth does not mean desperate.

If you have a good product, let it speak for itself. People said the same thing about the Samsung Commercials right?

"we don't go through your emails"

MS does scan the email subjects for help with targeted ads so this is a bit misleading.

Subject lines don't contain confidential/private information. Also, though they said that a while back, they have never actually implemented that (at least not when viewed in IE10 since it has tracking protection built in).

j2006 said,
Subject lines don't contain confidential/private information. Also, though they said that a while back, they have never actually implemented that (at least not when viewed in IE10 since it has tracking protection built in).

But still it is misleading. They never stated that's what they do. They never stated that's what they do also on SkyDrive.

j2006 said,
Subject lines don't contain confidential/private information. Also, though they said that a while back, they have never actually implemented that (at least not when viewed in IE10 since it has tracking protection built in).

I know lots of people who put key info in the subject lines when they send emails. Every where I worked there was always lots who did this.

It was an excellent campaign that some misunderstood. It was for fighting for user's rights for privacy and getting people to either sign a petition to get Google to stop (for those that wanted to stay on Gmail) or to switch to a better service (outlook.com). It wasn't an add to throw dirt at Google, but instead using actual proven facts (with sources listed on their site), and bringing awareness to the issue. It was well needed and hope at least woke up a few people.

Google is not stealing personal info of yours and keeping a big database on you. And I believe that Google publicly announced ahead of time what it was doing/going to do. So anyone who had a problem with what they are doing now, should of switched then and before they started to do it.

techbeck said,

Google is not stealing personal info of yours and keeping a big database on you. And I believe that Google publicly announced ahead of time what it was doing/going to do. So anyone who had a problem with what they are doing now, should of switched then and before they started to do it.

I've always known. And I still use it exclusively. But it also helps I am not a paranoid whack job.

DarkNet said,

I've always known. And I still use it exclusively. But it also helps I am not a paranoid whack job.

Was replying to the guy above you but I agree, I am not paranoid either.

j2006 said,
It wasn't an add to throw dirt at Google, but instead using actual proven facts (with sources listed on their site), and bringing awareness to the issue. It was well needed and hope at least woke up a few people.

Not supposed to throw dirt and yet they called it Scroogled. As a reference to Mr. Scrooge who was a cold-hearted, tight-fisted and greedy man. At least at the beginning. How is that not throwing dirt? If it really was about bringing privacy concerns to light then they could have named the campaign better or was the campy commercial where a pot catches on fire because he got scroogled really about privacy?

Title: "...Microsoft winds down Scroogled advertisements..."

"it looks like the Scroogled campaign has been put to bed, for now..."

"We reached out to Microsoft to confirm that the scroogled marketing campaign has been completed"

what is the basis for the article... what evidence is there that the ads are winding down?

thanks. I rarely ever go to the source, and in this case, it was no different. (Why should I have to anyways). Thanks for taking the time to clarify that though.

CJ33 said,
thanks. I rarely ever go to the source, and in this case, it was no different. (Why should I have to anyways). Thanks for taking the time to clarify that though.

Um...surely if you want to know a bit more information, or check evidence about a matter, it's best to knock the trend and just follow the source link?

Just sayin' =)