Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is taking its campaign for its suite of online productivity apps directly to the IT commuter, with new billboards in four cities. The billboards “tell the story of an anonymous IT manager who gets so fed up with the typical IT status quo that his company eventually — you guessed it — goes Google,” according to Google’s announcement. The messages change each day. An example: “Day #5: Software upgrade costs = crazy. I want to go Google.”
The not so subtle target: Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT). For now, Redmond seems to be countering Google’s offensive with a more bare-bones strategy. COO Kevin Turner said last week that he routinely assembled news reports on issues with Google’s suite and then distributed them to customers: “Go out on the Web and pull down the outages, the security issues and the privacy issues for the past 18 months and print them out, and you staple it. And it’s about this thick. And you hand it to a CIO and say, ‘Let’s go through this and really understand what you are getting into.’”
No word on whether Microsoft will launch its own campaign, perhaps featuring some of those reports. However, with a web-based version of Office set to be released during the first half of next year, expect some sort of marketing onslaught.
(Worth noting: Google, which has historically not been a big advertiser, seems to be be slowly changing that. The company launched its first ever TV campaign in May. CNET points out that the company has however run some billboard ads in the past — for recruiting)