Skype Rips Into Twitter and Facebook in New Ads

Video calling positioned as just more human

It's a familiar gripe: Technology makes communication more efficient, but less personal. Now, Skype is looking to leverage consumer anxiety about alienation with a $12 million campaign that frames its service as the more human of modern ways to stay in touch. Launched yesterday at U.K. transportation hubs like Heathrow Airport (which explains the travel-related nature of many of the headlines), a series of ads from Pereira & O'Dell takes shots at the superficiality of text-based tech—Facebook, Twitter, SMS—while playing up the value of the face-time video chats provide travelers looking to stay connected. That's a smart point of difference for the brand to focus on, even if the executions themselves are a bit brash. Check out some more ads from the series after the jump. The campaign will extend to the U.S. via digital executions in coming months, including an application on Skype's Facebook page that will let fans create their own "Humoticon"—a picture of themselves expressing a human emotion—and share it with their network. Because it wouldn't be advertising without a cheesy portmanteau.

@GabrielBeltrone Gabriel Beltrone is a frequent contributor to Adweek.