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Microsoft takes a not-so-subtle shot at Zoom’s security woes with new Teams ad

One need not read too deep between the lines to get the message that if L’Oreal, London Police, St. Luke’s Health, and Università di Bologna  trust Teams, so can you.

Microsoft takes a not-so-subtle shot at Zoom’s security woes with new Teams ad

Videoconferencing was once—say, four to six weeks ago if you can remember that far back—the avoid-at-almost-all-costs choice for workplace communication.

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This was of course because of such medium-specific idiosyncrasies as the nostril camera angle, the stuttering interruption, and the No, you go ahead, no you, OK, what? style of interaction.

Now, in the time of COVID-19, videoconferencing is now how much of the world is getting its work done. The transformation has been so dramatic that Zoom, whose usage surged 20x during this crisis, is now a verb.

That, of course, is a problem if you’re a Zoom competitor, of which there are many. But recent revelations—and a steady drip drip drip of them, to boot—around Zoom’s privacy and security issues have poked more than a few holes in its brand image, leaving the door open for others to jump in. A recent report from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab research group criticized the company’s lack of encryption, and said the video platform wasn’t suitable for government or business use.

That lack of trust for enterprise clients was perhaps the best commercial for Microsoft Teams that Microsoft could imagine.

But just in case, the brand decided to create one of its own.

In a new ad this week, Microsoft is touting how major organizations across the enterprise spectrum are using Teams as a trusted video partner.

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Created by agency McCann New York, the spot features executives and leaders from L’Oreal, the London Metropolitan Police, St. Luke’s University Health Network, and the Università di Bologna, detailing how they’re using Teams to help keep their organizations running during the pandemic.

London’s Metropolitan Police Service  is running its COVID-19 technology response on Teams, across uniform police patrol officers and forensic teams, up through command teams and including specialists and operational support. The Università di Bologna used Microsoft and Teams to get its 87,000 students taking more than 3,600 courses online. Since March 15, St. Luke’s University Health Network are averaging 5,000 patient visits per day in Pennsylvania and New Jersey on Teams. And L’Oreal is using the platform to connect its more than 55,000 employees around the world.

It’s a smart cross-section of clients—spanning healthcare, education, business, and law enforcement—each requiring security and stability. It’s also a perfect way to illustrate Teams’ major advantage over the pop-culture buzz of Zoom. With a tagline like “Safe, Secure, Free,” you know exactly who they’re aiming for.

They’ve even added custom backgrounds.

In a crisis, stability and security are hotter properties than style and startup buzz, and Microsoft Teams is banking on its track record to help it win the videoconferencing battle.

Even if “Let’s do a Teams call” doesn’t become part of our new vernacular.

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About the author

Jeff Beer is a staff editor at Fast Company, covering advertising, marketing, and brand creativity. He lives in Toronto.

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