Microsoft winds down its anti-Google ad campaign

Microsoft's "Scroogled" ad campaign may be winding down, but expect Redmond's ribbing of Google to continue.

The company launched the "Scroogled" media blitz late last year, first bashing Google for its pay-to-play listings in Google Shopping, and then knocking Gmail for scanning user e-mails to display targeted ads.

A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement that "while the ad portion of the consumer education campaign has finished its scheduled run, this important conversation about privacy continues."

Microsoft's Scroogled.com will remain active. According to Microsoft, more than 3.5 million people visited the site and more than 114,000 signed a petition to get Gmail to stop advertising based on e-mail content.

Measuring "Scroogled" success

But did "Scroogled" sway Google users to use Bing or Gmail users to use Outlook?

It's probably too soon to tell. The most recent numbers available are from the last quarter of 2012, when Google captured 67 percent of the U.S. search engine market, while Microsoft sites, such as Bing, drew 16.5 percent of search traffic.

E-mail is more competitive.

Google pegged Gmail at about 425 million users as of last June. According to comScore, that number is more like 306 million users (though comScore doesn't include mobile in its figures). According to comScore, Hotmail has 267 million users and Outlook another 38 million. Microsoft says Outlook has signed up 60 million users in the last six months. Combined, Hotmail and Outlook have about 305 million users.

If the "Scroogled" campaign didn't win over Gmail users, maybe Microsoft's new Outlook advertising blitz will. Redmond ramped up its promotion of Outlook in mid-February with a $30 million push on TV, radio, and social networks.

Microsoft will finish its migration of Hotmail accountholders to Outlook by summer.

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