Skype partners with Facebook on video calling, and Skype’s parent company, Microsoft, is a minority owner of Facebook. But all’s fair in love, war and advertising, apparently.

A new outdoor advertising campaign from the newly minted Microsoft division takes aim at Facebook wall posts and Twitter tweets in an attempt to remind Internet users about the richer interactions they can have through online video.

Some of the more provocative messages include, “140 Characters Doesn’t Equal Staying in Touch,” and “Upgrade from a Wall Post to a First Class Conversation.”

The $12 million marketing campaign, with the tag line, “It’s time for Skype,” launched this week in the U.S. and U.K., according to Advertising Age.

Of course, the real target here isn’t so much Facebook or Twitter as it is our habits and preferences for online communications. Yes, there’s a lot of benefit to an online video chat, in some cases, but as Chris Matyszczyk of CNet notes, there’s also a huge power in posting something on Facebook or Twitter, with the potential for the message to reach thousands of people.

Via Business Insider


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  • Guest

    Instead of trying to compete with Twitter, they should have come up with a way to add a Skype option into it.

  • Guest

    Seems like there are some fans of Sherry Turkle’s ALONE TOGETHER at Microsoft or their agency…

    This harkens back to last year’s Windows/Mobile campaign that positioned their product as something to add-value and get User’s back to the “real world” faster, not something to get lost in.

    Somewhere in here is a very basic message that “communication” is inherently a 2-way engagement.  Facebook & Twitter may get a message read by thousands or millions, but, it’s not “communication,” it’s a mini digital-billboard through a collective interface.  Microsoft are (attempting to) appeal to a wide range of consumers who aren’t digitally-obsessed, but who still spend the bulk of their lives engaged in human communication.

    I’d equate it to the difference between life on the Enterprise v. the Borg ship.  On the Enterprise, they have human conversations.  The Borg?  They send data back and forth via a collective interface.

    It’s not a bad way to differentiate your product.

  • Christopher Budd

    I have to admit that I’m kind of puzzled by this campaign.

    First, I admit, I’m not a fan of advertising that’s focused on telling me what’s wrong with the ostensible competition. I find it negative and unhelpful. So the approach here immediately turns me off.But second, I don’t understand the wisdom of picking a fight with Facebook in particular. Twitter I can sort of see, but Facebook? That just seems like needlessly introducing friction into a relationship that has been relatively positive for Microsoft.

    Finally, though, setting those two points aside, the basis of the comparison just doesn’t hold water. They’re two entirely different communications media and serve entirely different purposes. Telling me to use Skype instead of my Facebook wall just doesn’t make sense. I don’t post things on my wall for a dialog, it’s to inform people. Am I going to Skype with 50+ people to let them know what I want them to know?

    Any ad campaign that leaves you focused on “I don’t get it, what were they thinking” instead of the product isn’t a good campaign.

  • Guest

    Congratulations to Microsoft! The art of conversation, and of marketing, is alive and well.

  • Pradeep Chauhan

    Seems like a first year marketing student’s homework assignment completed and submitted in the last minute just to get it in. “You billion people are doing it all wrong because you just haven’t realized you could instead have an IM/VOIP call”. There’s a book in here somewhere on ‘What were they thinking’?

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