Boston, San Francisco, New York, and Chicago will be getting a month-long billboard ad campaign starting for this week, with one simple message: If you want to escape Microsoft's expensive grip, switch to Google.
A billboard campaign may sound slightly olde worlde for an uber-technology leader like Google, but the roads concerned (the Mass Pike, the 101, West Side Highway and the Ike, respectively) get traveled every day by millions of urban tech people heading into work—the target audience for Google. And, it's no ordinary billboard campaign. It'll update every day for a month, and as the days go by it'll reveal more and more about the concept of "going Google." Check out the preview video below.
The whole shtick is that Google's trying to educate those people driving by about the benefits of using Google's workplace solutions instead of a more expensive, less flexible competitor's solution. Think of it as a simpler version of the digital freeway sign in Steve Martin's L.A. Story, updating daily with a new friendly message that tempts you to switch away from Microsoft Office, Microsoft Exchange and so on.
In fact, it's simply a new take on the famous Mac switcher ads, first premiered with the delectable Apple switcher Ellen some seven years ago.
Google's on the offensive against Microsoft at the moment. Though Eric Schmidt was insistent that Chrome OS wasn't a direct Windows rival, the thrust of this new campaign is a direct response to Office In The Cloud, and an attack at core MS products. Clearly Google is confident enough in its software that it sees it as a real, working, reliable, solid and cheaper alternative to the business production solutions that MS has been peddling for decades.