Technology is changing the way people think and operate, but is it also degrading humanity?
That’s the premise behind Skype’s new $12 million marketing campaign, which slams both Facebook and Twitter as it promotes its own more-intimate form of keeping in touch.
The campaign, “It’s time for Skype,” makes virtual enemies out of Facebook and Twitter with targeted ads that suggest the social networking sites are “degrading humanity.” If Twitter is known for its 140-character limit and Facebook for its wall posts, Skype’s authority is that its video conferencing — and the real emotions that it can express — bring people back to a (more) real world.
The ads, released in the U.K. on April 2 and expected to hit the U.S. in the coming months, include the following catchphrases:
“When did LOL replace the sound of laughter?”
“When did it become okay to text mum happy birthday?”
“Humans were made to look, listen and feel.”
“140 characters doesn’t equal staying in touch.”
“Your one-way ticket back to humanity.”
“Upgrade from a wall post to a first class conversation.”
“No delays on human conversation.”
The ads have a bold look as well, with “It’s time for Skype,” featured below the slogan:
Photo courtesy of Adweek
To be sure, the frustration — and divide — between the digital world and the real world is becoming increasingly important, with many people experimenting quitting Facebook and others challenging themselves to abstain from social media altogether. Even fake Twitter accounts have popped up poking fun at what it means to be connected versus disconnected in today’s world.
In that respect, Skype’s new campaign could be an abrasive wake-up call to connected users everywhere to get offline and go out into the real world more — that is, if the campaign, and Skype’s usability itself, weren’t fleshed with irony. At the same time Skype targets Facebook and Twitter with these ads, it’s using both social networking sites to promote its own use.
Skype has an integration feature that allows Facebook users to utilize the world’s largest social networking site to make video calls. Meanwhile, as part of the “It’s Time for Skype” social media campaign — which most companies have realized is a important facet of marketing these days — the hashtag #timeforskype will be used on Twitter to promote Skype and its products.
We also can’t forget the obvious: While video conferencing does allow for face-to-face interaction, it doesn’t take place in the physical world. Skype, like both Facebook and Twitter, is a virtual platform.
What do you think of Skype’s new marketing campaign? Is it really bringing people back to humanity, or is it just bullying Facebook and Twitter? Sound off in the comments
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