Microsoft’s Scroogled Campaign: Dead…Again?

Over the past couple of years, you’ve likely seen one of the many Microsoft Scroogled campaigns. They are designed to attack Google for a variety of reasons, such as Gmail using ads on private emails, the Google Play Store, paid shopping ads, and their use of the cast of Pawn Stars to attack the value of Chromebooks, since they run without Windows or Office:

Scroogled T-shirt I'm Watching You

Plus, we can’t forget the line of Scroogled store merchandise.

The campaign has met with mixed results, with many marketers not liking the tone, and many more considering it ironic that Microsoft would be attacking Google.

Recent comments made by Derrock Connell, Microsoft corporate president of the Bing Experiences team, seem to show that Microsoft might be shutting the door on future Scroogled campaigns.

That campaign had a primary purpose so let me explain that first. The main purpose was to bring attention to some activities that we didn’t like as a company (for e.g. the idea of scanning email for the purpose of selling you ads seemed wrong). As a company we deeply care about trustworthy computing and user privacy. We felt there were things happening in the industry that didn’t match our world view, and the campaign was aimed at providing information to consumers.

It is tricky as you want to raise awareness and do it in a fun way. I think we achieved that goal, and changed some policies, and we are now done with the campaign. Mostly I feel proud that we decided to do it regardless of how we might be perceived.

Could new Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella be behind the demise of the Scroogled campaign? The last Scroogled campaign was five months ago, so we haven’t seen a new Scroogled ad since Nadella became CEO.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Microsoft has been rumored to be ending Scroogled ads only to come back with a fresh round of advertisements targeting a different Google product.

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