The items’ retail prices range from $7.99 for a mug, through to $25.99 for a ‘Don’t get Scroogled’ hoodie. Each of the items borrows heavily from the leading search engine’s official corporate images, including the use of its Chrome web browser logo.
Microsoft’s ‘Scroogled’ push kicked off last year and attempts to paint Google in a in a bad light using negative tactics, such as highlighting how Google improves its online ad targeting by ‘going through’ Gmail account holders’ correspondences. A practice Microsoft claims is an “invasion of privacy”.
It also claims that Google does not clearly warn users of its practices.
By contrast, Microsoft hopes to attract web users uncomfortable with such practices by highlighting how its suite of services such as Outlook and Bing are not as intrusive as Google’s.
A statement justifying the negative marketing tactics – not a strategy normally employed by the desktop software giant – reads: “We believe that it’s important to educate the public about practices that are misleading and may harm consumers.
“This ‘Don’t Get Scroogled’ effort is focused on educating consumers about Google’s deceptive privacy practices.”
Speaking with Marketing Week earlier this year, Microsoft VP of Europe, advertising and online Andy Hart explained Microsoft’s “invitational marketing” drive, adding “the industry might eat itself” with too many ads.
He said the corporation had shifted towards limiting the number and type of ads served through restrictions on its web browser. It has also changed its email service to increase the impact of the ads it does serve to users.