Trolling has its justified nasty reputation, but when enterprises do it to each other it’s hilarious.
Google just announced a new holding company that will be owning Google itself and other businesses. The name for it: Alphabet.
The domain name Google chose for Alphabet is neat: abc.xyz.
It took Microsoft just a few hours to come up with a great answer for this announcement. They got the domain abc.wtf. Not only does it mock the Alphabet branding, it also redirects to Bing, Microsoft’s search engine.
The Art of Trolling
The rivalry between Microsoft and Google goes way back. While Google is trying to stay on the positive side, Microsoft is not afraid of getting dirty.
Just a quick reminder: Remember Microsoft’s 2013 campaign where it “warned” the public to not get “Scroogled”?
Microsoft loves getting into marketing fights with its rivals. Apple is a favourite punching bag:
By the way, if you find Microsoft abc.wtf a genuine move, you should see what Google knows about Domain-Trolling. When mistyping Duck.com instead of the DuckDuckGo.com, you’ll end up with the Google homepage instead of the alternative non-tracking-user-data search engine.
— angad chowdhry (@angadc) August 11, 2015
Something is changing around Microsoft’s public image. The once aging corporation is slightly moving towards a new exciting marketing culture. It goes with branding the new OS by the rounded number 10 (skipping 9), or with launching a new fast browser with a logo similar to the old IE one, but with a spiky edge.
It seems the company has changed its mindset. It’s no longer sticking to traditional marketing techniques, and is now an example granted for smarter modern marketing.
Their domain prank is something to learn from. Even when you are as huge as Microsoft, acting fast is a necessity. Yes, it’s great to act by the original marketing plan, but creating a twist for ongoing news can get a quick return on creative investment.
Google’s announcement obviously drew great attention with their news. But Microsoft’s prank was newsjacking at its best:
Marketing with Special Ops, not Tanks
Microsoft unleashed their creativity with going witty and slightly nasty. If you feel uneasy with that attitude, there are other funny ways of newsjacking. Take a look how Stripe utilized the same Google-Alphabet announcement:
Newsjacking is a mission for special marketing opearations who knows how to act fast. Strategic thinking and plans are good for long term vision. While you obviously must have the latter, having the power to use others’ news is just a smart move for branding yourself as a relevant competitor or expert in your field.
Doing so is possible by continuously tracking your competitors’ performance and strategy, and online-listen to their mentions. It is a data-driven guerrilla marketing, not an occasional by-chance opportunity.
Corporate rivalry can get nasty but sure is fun. We won’t be surprised to see Google moving that last piece into a checkmate.
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