New Skype ad campaign slams Twitter and Facebook

Even though Microsoft acquired Skype in October 2011, Skype seems to be run as if it was as a semi-independent entity. That's evident in a new Skype ad campaign that launched this week in the US and UK. The new ads are pretty aggressive in its comments on two other Internet companies, Twitter and Facebook.

Ad Age reports that the new campaign costs $12 million. It will start with outdoor billboards with messages such as the one above that mocks Twitter's 140 character limit. Another ad makes fun of Facebook by saying, "Upgrade from a wall post to a first class conversation." In the UK, the Skype billboards will be seen in two of the city's busiest subway stations along with billboards placed outside of buses.

Some of the ads post a website URL, itstimeforskype.com, that when visited show a site with links to various pages on the main Skype.com site. Those pages showcase some of Skype's features like video calls, unlimited calls to other countries, screen sharing and more.

Ironically, the campaign will also include a social networking aspect that involves using Twitter. That part of the marketing push, budgeted at $2 million, includes using the Twitter hashtag #timeforskype for promoting Skype's premium features.

There will also be a new digital ad campaign for Skype that will launch later in April on a number of major web sites. However, Ad Age says those ads won't be as "in your face" as the outdoor billboards.

Image via Skype

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26 Comments

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To preface, I am pro-Twitter for many reasons, but I like Skype's message. It's true in some ways if you think it out. The hands-off approach to keeping in touch via FB/TWT with insincere updates, deceptive Photoshopped posses, the over-saturation with instagraming everything for no good reason ... it's all too much "fake."

It's like saying "my life isn't interesting enough, so not to look like a complete bore or unattractive I need to create something that isn't there, or appear funnier than I really am so I re-post things someone else came up with." We've all done it, myself included. We don't realize it though, or try not to care.

Skype, and like-apps, are the real thing because it's the real you. No hiding, no nothing -- and that's okay. You are who you are and you should accept that, boring and all!

That scares people though; having to face how ordinary they are. Traditional social sites lets you be someone you aren't, dispense snark and venom safely behind a screen without any real repercussion. It's spoiled so many of us and introduced this new paradigm that is debilitating to our humanity.

...I should tweet this to my friends, but I only have 140 characters.......see what I did there?

Thank goodness Facebook chat and Twitter exist otherwise there would have been no big competition for Microsoft with it controlling Live Messenger and Skype. Yahoo! Messenger's annoy-ware. Soon WLM and Skype will be merged and overlapping technologies from either one will be lost.

'In the UK, the Skype billboards will be seen in two of the city's busiest subway stations'
Sorry, what? We don't have 'subway stations', which is an american term and sounds rather stupid.

I think subway is used explicitly for New York, the other cities have "metro"s.

Having said that I agree with you. Subway system in London sounds like tube system on DC.

n_K said,
Sorry, what? We don't have 'subway stations', which is an american term and sounds rather stupid.

You don't hear me bitching either when yet another Brit visiting Amsterdam comes up to me asking where the most nearby "underground" station is. However, next time I'll be sure to pretend I don't know what the hell they're talking about. It's called the "Metronetwerk Amsterdam" or in short "Metro Amsterdam" after all.

Edited by .Neo, Apr 4 2012, 3:10pm :

Yea, I don't really see Skype as being in direct conflict for market share with Facebook and Twitter... Skype is more for personal communication, not social networking...

PotatoJ said,
Looks like at least the lame MS marketing team made it over to Skype.

.. MS uses partners to make ads against partners? Wow?

The problem with Skype is it is not as social as Twitter or Facebook. You see with Facebook I can post pictures, a status update, a location and it is broadcasted to all of your friends. Same with Twitter you can broadcast a small message with a link to your followers.

The perceived notion of face to face conversation over the internet is not as social.

Just my two cents.

I thought that Microsoft had a strong relationship with Facebook (Bing integration) as did Skype before the takeover (Facebook integration in Skype), why would they attack Facebook? And Twitter is a completely different market, it is not designed for staying in touch with Friends and Family! This marketing campaign doesn't make sense.

Simon- said,
I thought that Microsoft had a strong relationship with Facebook (Bing integration) as did Skype before the takeover (Facebook integration in Skype), why would they attack Facebook? And Twitter is a completely different market, it is not designed for staying in touch with Friends and Family! This marketing campaign doesn't make sense.

Despite being owned by Microsoft, Skype is still run as a separate entity so the ad campaign is from Skype, not Microsoft.

Hmmm, forgive me if I am being stupid but when did anyone start using twitter to "stay in touch"? Isn't the whole point of twitter to broadcast small bytes of information to people, not really requiring any type of reply ...

bushbrother said,
Hmmm, forgive me if I am being stupid but when did anyone start using twitter to "stay in touch"? Isn't the whole point of twitter to broadcast small bytes of information to people, not really requiring any type of reply ...

No you are not stupid at all. That's what Twitter is. Facebook is for staying in touch. Seems like a lame ad campaign.

Mazhar said,
I think it should be "140 characters DON"T equal...". Grammar mistake?

No, I don't believe it is a grammatical error because it isn't referring to each individual character; it's referring to the group of 140 characters as a single entity (a group).

Mazhar said,
I think it should be "140 characters DON"T equal...". Grammar mistake?

The grammar is correct, "140 characters DOES NOT equal...".

S_Herbie said,

"140 characters DO NOT equal..." surely??

As Callum said, it's not about the characters equaling the conversation, but about the group of characters.
It's about the lenght if you will.

Like "10 inches doesn't mean you can please me"

GS:win

Lol. Love the fact they're using Twitter to promote using Skype.

Not really slamming the other services though, just pointing out the differences.

Panda X said,
Hardly a "slam".

Had to do something to get people to read the article, nothing better than making it seem MS is at odds with their partners.