Mozy takes on Jungle Disk; Pointlessly Confrontational Ad Copy Does Not Endear Potential Customers


The Mozy ads that are mentioned in this post are no longer running. On January 28, 2011 a Mozy employee named Ryan commented on this post with the following:

Gentlemen, I would like to apologize for the tone of those ads. It was I that wrote those several years ago in one of those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” moments. And while they actually do convert pretty well, they don’t reflect the appropriate attitude towards our (potential-)customers. And I think that’s more important.

I’ve now removed them from our rotation. I really do appreciate your feedback.

I no longer see those ads on the Jungle Disk keyword. The Amazon S3 keyword has an aggressive, but respectful ad now:

Mozy Changes Its Ways


I use a free Dropbox account to store some project files for a website that a friend and I work on. We’re filling it up quickly and I’m considering our options. I think the best option is to just use a rather large FTP account that we have, but in an effort to be thorough I searched out other consumer level cloud storage providers. The first two that come to my mind are Dropbox and SugarSync. However there’s a third one that I overlook: Jungle Disk.

Because I’m unfamiliar with the product, I googled Jungle Disk’s brand name to find their corporate site. My eye was attracted to a lone AdWords ad on the right side of the page:

Mozy takes a snipe shot at Jungle Disk

The ad is for a competing cloud storage provider that most of us know about called Mozy. I refreshed the page and saw a different and even less flattering bit of ad copy:

Mozy takes another snipe shot at Jungle Disk

I was very surprised at these two ads. Insulting a competitor so blatantly? Self-assigning the title “#1 Online Backup Company”? Attempting to win my business by insulting me with snarky questions? I also found it ironic that they advertised a price that, by my comparison, is not as good as what Jungle Disk offers. I was not amused by the advertising.

I decided to search for the brand names of other cloud storage vendors to see if Mozy was taking this aggressive track elsewhere. I searched for Dropbox, SugarSync, Syncplicity, ZumoDrive and even enterprise cloud storage providers like Amazon S3, Nirvanix and EMC Atmos Online. Interestlingly, I was only able to find Mozy’s insulting ad copy on one other keyword: Amazon S3. That doesn’t seem like a prime competitor to me, but I guess Mozy knows its business better than I do.

Uhmm, Mozy? I think you need a chill pill.

In the course of looking at competing advertisements on a service’s keywords, I discovered what I think is a great example of an aggressive yet tasteful advertisement:

Aggressive advertising done right

Laplink makes a bold statement, but it’s not insulting or demeaning. I didn’t click on the link to see if they backed up their statement (I didn’t want to needlessly cost them PPC advertising money), but presumably they would present at least some facts about their service so a savvy shopper could compare.

Let me describe the kind of advertisement that I think is acceptable. First, I think it’s okay to be confrontational in advertisements. Some might disagree with me on that, and it’s certainly a fine line. If you have a product that is better than someone else’s product, I think it’s acceptable to advertise on their keywords or say “we’re better than this other product!” Having said that, I think it’s a bad thing if that’s your only advertising strategy. Never be defined by a negative. Also, always back up your claims of superiority. I’ve found plenty of good anti-spam and other edge appliances that I otherwise wouldn’t have heard of as a result of rather aggressive ad campaigns on Barracuda keywords.

I also think it’s okay to ask your customers direct questions within your advertisements. “Is your archiving solution compliant?” “Are you sure your DR solution can handle a meteor impact?” etc. Asking questions is very effective in advertisements, but you have to make sure you’re asking the right questions.

So what are bad tactics in advertising? For one, personal attacks against your competitor. It’s one thing to say “Our products are better than this other one and here’s why” and quite another to say “This competing product sucks!”

Even worse is insulting your customers. For example, saying “I hope you’re joking,” when someone is searching for one of your competitors. Not only has Mozy slung mud at Jungle Disk, but they’ve also managed to call into question the intelligence of potential customers. I can’t say for sure if that AdWords campaign is working, but it’s certainly not wooing me over to Mozy.

It is important to note that I don’t take this bit of ad copy as a sign that Mozy is evil. In truth, this ad is one of probably thousands. It was probably written and decided upon by just one person in a much larger organization. I’m sure Mozy has an excellent product and great people working for them. However, most people aren’t quite as charitable and I suspect that most people will think twice about Mozy after seeing that ad.

Advertisers, take note. This isn’t middle school where boys impress girls by seeing who can insult the other with the sharpest wit. Be aggressive if you want, but keep it factual and don’t call anyone names. Especially your customer.


  1. Fred Woodbridge

    January 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    That copy may actually be working for them, who knows? In other words, just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it’s not reeling in the fish.
    There are many more people making decisions based on emotion than logic, unfortunately, and to quote Saul Alinsky, “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. It may very well be making decent conversion numbers. If so… then I guess they’ll be sticking with it. I’m more concerned with the ethos of a company that does what is rude to make financial gain. Or perhaps seeing this as rude is being oversensitive. Or perhaps I’m too much of an ideologue?


  2. Adam Ruth

    January 27, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    It actually sounds somewhat insulting to the user as well, like they’re too stupid to know what they’re searching for.

    The funny thing is that a couple years ago I switched from Mozy to Jungle Disk because Mozy is a really crappy product. It backs up well enough (if quite slow) but good luck restoring anything.


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

      The insult to the user is what bothered me the most.

      Good to know about your experience with Mozy. Of the consumer-level storage/backup product, I actually have the most interaction with Carbonite which I was very happy with. I migrated a family friend from their old PC to a new one with it. No muss, no fuss.


  3. Adam Ruth

    January 27, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I tried Carbonite but it had one problem for me. I want to back up all of my development files and that includes a lot of .exe and .dll files. Carbonite filters those out by default. You can add them back in, but only individually.

    Other than that it seemed like a good product.


  4. Fred Woodbridge

    January 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    No, that’s definitely rude all right, no question but that’s the beauty of a free market economy! 😉

    Great, now I find out! I’ve been uploading to Mozy for the last month. I guess I’ll find out whether I have to rinse and repeat with someone else after I try a restore. Anyone know about crashplan (I think that’s the name).


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 27, 2011 at 4:54 pm

      Interestingly, I’ve never heard of Crashplan before. Doubly interesting is the fact that Googling the keyword “crashplan” shows our buddies at Mozy are using the same “You’re joking right?” campaign against them too! Lulz. =)


    • Adam Ruth

      January 27, 2011 at 5:31 pm

      Crashplan was one that I evaluated. It was pretty nice. One thing that I liked about it was that you can use your own storage and have two (or more) computers at different locations back up to each other.


  5. Adam Ruth

    January 27, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    This blog post pretty much summed up my experience with Mozy.

    It’s the first thing returned when you Google “Mozy Restore Sucks.” Interestingly there was a Mozy ad but it wasn’t of the “Are you kidding” variety.


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 27, 2011 at 5:38 pm

      The line “Mozy is actually a succubus, a demon sent from hell to suck the life out of men” made me lol for real. I needed that to pick me up this late afternoon. =)


    • cyberbofh

      January 28, 2011 at 2:28 am

      Hmm in 2008 it must be real bad, but I can be wrong but some time has past since that moment.

      FYI I did a full restore in 2009 and 2010 and had no trouble with it. I used both the file download restore option as the restore from the Mozy client.

      The only problem I ever had with Mozy was with a bug in the client and Mozy support working slow on it. After 1 Tweet to @Mozy my problem was solved in no time

      Just my 2 cents about Mozy 😉


      • Wesley.Nonapeptide

        January 28, 2011 at 10:48 am

        Great to hear an opposing experience. I know that for every horrible experience with a product, others have had great ones. The hard part is figuring out which experiences are more common than the others. 😉


      • Fred Woodbridge

        January 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm

        Gives me a bit of hope for Mozy. I’ve downloaded and setup crashplan and will be doing a trial over the next month, just to “see.”


  6. Ryan

    January 28, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Gentlemen, I would like to apologize for the tone of those ads. It was I that wrote those several years ago in one of those “it seemed like a good idea at the time” moments. And while they actually do convert pretty well, they don’t reflect the appropriate attitude towards our (potential-)customers. And I think that’s more important.

    I’ve now removed them from our rotation. I really do appreciate your feedback.



    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      January 28, 2011 at 11:43 am

      Thanks for the update, Ryan! I figured that they had to be converting decently to still be around, so my idea was “Hey, Mozy knows the numbers better than I do.” As I start my own business and look to AdWords and other online advertising, I too think that the projected attitude of a company trumps conversion rates. I’d rather convert less but have a better attitude and “aura” about my company than convert more but have a rather unpleasant impression.

      I’ll update the blog post at the top to reflect the changes.


      • Fred Woodbridge

        January 28, 2011 at 12:46 pm

        Wow, impressive response–especially when it’s this personal. Anyway, I wonder if that’ll sway anyone now?


  7. Andy, CloudBerry Lab

    February 1, 2011 at 1:56 am

    There is another option to backup data to cloud storage powered by Amazon S3. Check out CloudBerry Backup . It is one time fee and the rest what you pay for Amazon S3. Besides, there is no proprietary data format and you can access your data using other Amazon s3 tools. Supports all Amazon S3 regions and Reduced Redundancy Storage and Multipart Upload.


    • Wesley.Nonapeptide

      February 1, 2011 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up! I’ve never seen a backup solution built on top of S3 quite like that.


  8. cyberbofh

    February 1, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    I always liked Mozy but new facts did come up.
    Mozy will stop it’s “unlimited backup plan”.

    Knowing that, it’s time to look around to other solutions that still offer (and keep offering) unlimited backup space.


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