Microsoft mocks Facebook, Twitter in Skype ad campaign

Microsoft mocks Facebook, Twitter in Skype ad campaign

Summary: Microsoft has launched a Skype advertising campaign. It contains two ads that mock Facebook and Twitter, noting how they are next to useless for communication when compared to Skype.


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).

See also:

Topics: Social Enterprise, Collaboration, Microsoft

Emil Protalinski

About Emil Protalinski

Emil is a freelance journalist writing for CNET and ZDNet. Over the years,
he has covered the tech industry for multiple publications, including Ars
Technica, Neowin, and TechSpot.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Fail

    It's not going to work. I honestly can't pinpoint the real reason though.

    All I know is that my adult daughter, in her late 20's, has a mobile phone (phone, a device invented for voice communications) that costs several hundred dollars and what does she do with it? sends text messages. This is pretty much the norm now.

    Why people buy expensive voice communication devices and use them basically as wirelss telegraphs is beyond me.
    • It is going to fail for one simple reason

      It fails to actually sell the product.

      I see the ad, read it and the Skype logo was completely lost.
    • They're not voice devices.

      I actually agree with the points made in the ad campaign, but honestly a lot of times you don't want that interaction. You just want to get a message across without further conversation, and with a text message you're not forced to keep on.
      Also, smartphones are really not bought to be a voice communication device. That's actually one of the last things I think about when looking for a new phone. There's just so many uses for them to make your life easier that talking is only a small part of it.
  • Huh?

    Isn't Facebook video chat powered by Skype, and the parties got together via Microsoft who wants, really wants Facebook to take Google down a whole lot of notches?

    Added via Edit: (Well, this is what I get for responding to the title and not reading Mr. Protalinski's text. Though, my confusion, unoriginal as it is, stands.)
  • It's just mocking Twitter, and Not Facebook

    It says "Update your Wall Post", meaning, if you're already on Facebook, you can use Video Chat within Facebook, which is powered by Skype.
  • Fail indeed

    Yeah I must say I prefer a pixelated, laggy, dropping video call instead of a simple text message or email. Skype call quality is atrocious, and are expensive compared to proper VOIP/Sip providers.

    They bought a dud.
    jan bLinQue
    • I disagree

      I've been using Skype since its inception, and while call quality was sometimes a problem in the early years, I have no more call quality issues now on Skype than I do with my office Vonage system.

      Expensive?? For $3.00/mo I can call anywhere in the US and Canada, and with a <$50.00 interface, I have access to Skype from every regular phone in the house.
      • Yup expensive.

        For about $13 a quarter I can call not only anywhere in US and Canada but 30 other countries as well. Some of them include free mobile calls. At the end of the quarter my $13 is untouched as credit that I can still use at far lower rates than Skype. I can also send international texts for 5 cents.
        jan bLinQue
  • Skype losing its touch

    Nice campaign, but Skype is losing its touch a little. New players like Tango and Six3 (which lets you send video messages are doing a nicer job of video communication, esp on mobile.