Microsoft's advertising has never been as slick as Apple's or as witty as Google's, but this "Gmail Man" spoof in which the company mocks how Gmail serves up ads by scanning through the contents of its user inboxes is just entertaining and priceless.
The video was apparently made to pump up the Office 365 sales team, but one copy of the internal marketing spoof managed to leak out and we're all having a good chuckle right now (yes, even us Gmail users).
"Gmail Man" basically rips on Google for "snooping" and "skimming" through inboxes to create better targeted ads that are relative to your content. If you wrote to someone about having sexual dysfunctions, you might end up seeing more ads for Viagra or if you mention that you need a new iPhone 4 case, you might see some ads for a few of those, etc.
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By blasting Gmail and Google's Apps, Microsoft was attempting to highlight why people should choose Office 365& #8212; its own cloud-based productivity suite. The video was never expected for public distribution, but it does paint Google in a very negative light while keeping things light and hearty.
Am I worried about Google's increasingly suspicious methods of throwing ads my way? A little. Will I keep using Gmail? Absolutely. Why? I use adblocker plug-ins. Just because I can't see the ads, doesn't mean Google isn't still snooping on my emails, right? I can't be sure, but I don't see why not.
The fact is, we relinquish our privacy whenever we use free services, be it Gmail, Facebook, or whatever. Ads keep sites up and running. Most of us understand that we have to take a little hit in privacy to keep using these free services.
It's Friday, and this video is h-i-l-a-r-i-o-u-s. Whatever your stance on Gmail and Google's privacy issues are, it's still better than coughing up $7,500 for that Elite750 email address, isn't it?