Tuesday, November 20, 2007

CoolHotmail.com – Great campaign but an equally bad concept


What was MSN thinking when they launched CoolHotmail.com? To get back customers from Gmail to Hotmail by offering them a cool (freakish) e-mail address? Well, they’ve got great creatives, both online (banners/mailers/viral) and offline, to support them. They even seem to have spent a bomb to reach out to the audience with a high frequency. And they may see a whole lot of people registering for their service. However, most of these members would comprise of school and college kids. And I don’t even see any of them continuing to use the service for more than a couple of months. I can't think of anyone who would like to express their wannabe-ness as explicitly as with an ID that reads amit@hitwithchicks.com or preeti@iamsizzling.com. The service reminds me of models doing the catwalk, looking pretty in fancy-looking clothes, but with clothes that can never be worn off the ramp.

What MSN (and even Yahoo!) need, to win back their dominance on the e-mail landscape, is a complete change in product – one that can match and then further the e-mail experience that Gmail provides. Till then, the churn will continue.

Note: I know some of you would quote figures which say that Hotmail & Yahoo Mail still have a larger user base than Gmail. And these figures may be true. But MSN and Yahoo would be fooling themselves if they can’t see the writing on the wall – Gmail is kicking butt!

2 comments:

Abitha said...

Yeah, agreed... the new ads are targeted at impressionable young minds more than for the user who derives several practical benefits from his mail box. Google puts in a phenomenal amount of research to pack the killer punch into its products and it shows!

Asher said...

Gimmick is a gimmick!! In the internet space, it cannot replace a sustainable product strategy. The idea is clear, target teens; people who would be susceptible to change their email ids, for something cool or have the time to check just 1 more. Even then I doubt they would like to let go the simplicity and functionality of a Gmail.