Microsoft today launched a $12 million 'It's Time for Skype' campaign in the U.S. and the U.K. The basic idea is that text-based communication sucks, whether it's a text message or a social network, and that the only way to proper way to connect online is to use Skype.
The campaign includes seven massive billboards ads, two of which make snide remarks about Facebook and Twitter. You can see those two on the right, courtesy of Business Insider.
Here are all the billboard captions (they're in all-caps but I couldn't stand that):
Upgrade From A Wall Post To A First Class Conversation
140 Characters Doesn't Equal Staying In Touch
When Did It Become Okay To Text Mum Happy Birthday?
Your One-Way Ticket Back To Humanity
When Did LOL Replace The Sound Of Laughter
Humans Were Made To Look Listen And Feel
No Delays On Human Conversation
The Twitter mockery doesn't really surprise me, and it's not just because I mainly cover Facebook. As you can see in the links below, Facebook and Skype have a close relationship: the former's video calling service is powered by the latter and the latter integrates the former heavily in its desktop client. Sure, a Facebook Wall post doesn't compare to Skype video call, but a Facebook video call sure gets the job done.
If that's not enough for you, as of six months ago, Skype is owned by Microsoft. Guess what? Microsoft is a Facebook investor.
In October 2007, Microsoft bought a 1.6 percent stake in Facebook for about $240 million, giving Facebook a valuation of $15 billion. Ever since then, the two companies have been best friends and have worked together on many different products, although now it's just mainly Bing (see links below). Microsoft even provided display ads for Facebook at one point, but that deal has since expired and Facebook now competes with Microsoft in the online advertising market.
Maybe it's fitting then, that Microsoft is poking Facebook with an offline advertising campaign (pun intended).
- Microsoft adds Facebook video calling to Skype for Windows
- Facebook announces video calling, powered by Skype
- Leaked: Facebook Messenger to get video calling
- Microsoft pays to put Bing on Facebook logout page
- Bing to use Facebook, Twitter more in fight against Google
- Facebook taps Microsoft Bing for Page content translation
- Microsoft puts Facebook into Bing Bar