Some people’s understanding of promotional products is entirely too simplistic. They believe that imprinted giveaways — or “swag” — are nothing more than logoed tchotchkes designed for trade shows and corporate meetings. But with a little creativity, you can do so much more with this underutilized form of advertising.
Whether or not you agree with its message, Microsoft’s new line of merchandise targeted at Google haters is a fantastic example of custom printed products used differently.
Microsoft takes a risk with its anti-Google swag (and not just because it alienates Googlers who are, at the end of the day, potential Microsoft users). It’s risky advertising because the products don’t showcase the Microsoft name or logo whatsoever. Instead, they aim to uncover how Google infringes user privacy.
Microsoft explains its stance over at the Scroogled Blog:
From the start, Scroogled has been dedicated to exposing Google’s violations of your privacy. We’ve shown you how Google goes through every single word of every single email sent to or from your Gmail account to target you with ads, how they serve up shopping results that are actually paid ads, how they share your contact information with app developers, how they monetize web searches that students do in school, and even how they say email users have no expectation of privacy. The list goes on and on.
This has struck a chord. Millions of people have visited Scroogled.com and hundreds of thousands have signed the petitions to tell Google to stop violating their privacy. Now, there’s a new way for people to express themselves and their misgivings about Google – with Scroogled gear from the brand new Scroogled Store.
The “Scroogled” campaign is nothing new; Microsoft ads have bashed Google on privacy since last year. But with several of the items already sold out, it would appear that Microsoft’s new line of swag has seriously upped the ante.
What do you think of Microsoft’s anti-Google swag? Is it a smart marketing move, or just plain classless?