How not to waste money on bad advertising

Freshsales launches with a big ?*!# you!

Here in SF there’s a huge ad campaign on buses by a new CRM called Freshsales. The ads feature people complaining because they spent too much time setting up Salesforce. [ Check out the campaign here on their site]

They say “ ?*!# you, Freshsales”, and the sub tagline on each ad is “Sorry we didn’t launch earlier”. Is that effective copy-writing? It is attention grabbing. 
Why is Freshsales better than Salesforce though? 
​The ads lead you to believe that Freshsales is easier to set up than Salesforce.

?*!# you, Freshsales

Given the swear words they must be targeting young, hip tech companies. Companies presumably upset with Salesforce. The young, hip target doesn’t always align with the ad copy though. Some ads reference large sums of money spent setting up Salesforce or buying a BMW with the lost money.

Speaking of money, Freshsales must have spent thousands running this campaign. While effective at grabbing attention, I wonder if it’s effective at winning customers? The timing was great with Dreamforce here though.

Hard to snap pics of these things as they cruise by

Pitting your company against an enemy company can be a great way to position a product, as the enemy gives the prospective buyer a frame a reference. In this case I feel that Freshsales didn’t position themselves well against Salesforce. We don’t know the value of Freshsales, except for inferring it’s easier than Salesforce.

Freshsales should stay with the anti-Salesforce theme, but dive deeper into why Freshsales is better. They need to also be clear on the target buyer. Furthermore, I’d stay away from the negativity. It’s better to project positive emotions, even if pitting one product against another. The mac vs PC commercials come to mind.

Helluva way to launch though, so I’ll give them credit for the chutzpah.

What are your thoughts on this campaign? Anything I’m missing here?