Scroogled is marketing genius

My colleague Wayne Williams calls Microsoft Scroogled gear "pathetic" and a "new low". I agree that the anti-Google hat, hoodie, mug and Tees are more crass than class but they tap fanboy sentiments. The Scroogled product line is brilliant marketing, I say.

Look at the amount of attention generated across blogs, news sites and social networks today. Scroogled is everywhere. Microsoft rarely gets such viral uptake, and any advertising consultant will tell you that all news is good news. Controversy is sweet marketing, and here pointed. Scroogled isn't just anti-Google, it's pro-discussion -- as fanboys from both sides and everyone between them argue about one company against the other. Microsoft marketers want flaming debate about Google search.

Scroogled taps into legitimate fears about Google watching you. Consider Google Now, which offers information without your asking -- everything from when UPS will deliver a package to suggesting nearby events. Google Now knows if your flight is on time -- heck, that you're flying and where. I often refer to the search and information giant as "Google God", for being all-knowing, like the deity.

Not for the first time, Vic Gundotra, Google senior veep of engineering said during the October 29th launch of new Google+ features: "We know who is important in your life". Is that a promise or threat? Think about it.

That's not to say Microsoft, with Bing, would be any better with your personal information. The difference: Google generates more than 90 percent of revenues from search-related products and services. Microsoft loses money, profiting from software and related cloud services instead.

So, there is something to talk about. Trust. Whom do you trust with your personal information? How much do you willingly expose to use Google Now and other services?

Then there is what Microsoft's Scroogled line gives the Faithful. Fanboys and those disenchanted with Google can make statements about privacy and their concerns -- perhaps legitimate fears -- that the search and information giant gathers too much information.

How funny if after ordering a "I'm Watching You" T-Shirt, Google Now informs when will be delivery.

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