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!


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.