An “internal” Microsoft video that parodies a Google Chrome commercial, warning consumers that the search engine is “following you” and “monetizing you” has somehow made its way to YouTube.
According to a Microsoft spokesperson communicating with Mashable, the video strictly intended for internal use was “leaked.”
The spoof ad (see below) draws on the imagery and soundtrack of Google’s original “Chrome: Now Everywhere” spot. Only the text has been replaced.
Instead of touting the virtues of Google’s omnipresence on the web, the new titles alert viewers of the search engine’s ability to exploit their privacy. The new narrative created by Microsoft imbues Google’s tagline “Now Everywhere,” with an ominous patina.
Does this sound like the kind of sinister tactic a jaded political consultant might use to attack an opponent? By amazing coincidence, as The New York Times reported late last year, Mark Penn — the strategist who ran Hillary Clinton’s failed 2008 primary campaign — is now applying his attack-dog acumen to guide Microsoft’s ongoing battle with Google.
Penn is the mastermind behind the “Scroogled” campaign that has been running since last year. The video advances the campaign’s theme: Google is misusing the information they collect when consumers use their search engine and making tremendous profits in the process.
In another amazing coincidence, the parody video surfaced halfway through Google’s I/O developer conference. While Google CEO Larry Page made no direct reference to the campaign during his appearance at the conference on Wednesday, he implicitly lamented Microsoft’s attack strategy. “Every story I read about Google, it’s kind of us versus some other company.” Being negative, he added, “is not how we make progress,”
The two companies’ latest conflict is over a Windows YouTube Phone app that does not offer advertising. Google has sent a cease-and-desist letter to Microsoft asking the company to remove the app until advertising capability has been installed.
Whether the Google attack video will move the needle in Microsoft’s favour is yet to be determined. The last time we checked the parody had drawn just 138,368 viewers.
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