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Updated: Google to Air "Search Stories" Ad During Super Bowl…

By - February 06, 2010

Remember when I wrote about the new “Search Stories” ads for Google’s core search offerings?

In that post, I noted “It’s truly a brand campaign: Google is not selling anything here other than its own brand – that ephemeral sensibility that resides between its customers’ ears.” Well I’ve got a pretty reliable source who is telling me Google plans to hit the branded advertising big leagues this Sunday – the source says Google’s “Parisian Love” ad (below) will air during the third quarter of the Super Bowl.

Now that would be a true turning point for the brand – a brand that, for nearly ten years, dismissed brand advertising as a waste of money (“The last bastion of unaccountable spending in corporate America,” in Eric Schmidt’s words back in 2006), and built its entire fortune on turning the advertising model upside down.

I emailed folks at Google for comment today, and a spokesperson said “Watch the Super Bowl!” That ain’t a no, folks. (It’s not a Screen shot 2010-02-06 at 3.29.23 PM.pngyes, either, but…)

I can’t find the ad in this lineup of SuperBowl advertisers, but I’d not be surprised if Google had asked CBS to keep their name out of the pre-game hype (my source was told Google was keeping this quiet). File this as a strong rumor for now, as I can’t get a secondary confirmation – though Google’s response was pretty telling.

Needless to say, I’ll be Tivo’ing the game….Here’s the ad.

UPDATE: After I emailed Google for comment, Eric Schmidt tweeted this out:


Can’t wait to watch the Superbowl tomorrow. Be sure to watch the ads in the 3rd quarter (someone said “Hell has indeed frozen over.”)

Eric, you trying to scoop my scoop?! Who ever would have thunk it?


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  • http://www.zeroslope.com Chris
  • http://twitter.com/josephmorin Joseph

    Not the first time they’ve considered a Superbowl ad though John. I was directly involved in their near sponsorship for the MySuperProposal project for Superbowl XLI and had a greenlight from very senior people at Google.

    Larry and Sergey killed the ad in the end though because (according to a venture capital source who used to work at Google) “Larry and Sergey don’t like football or watch the Superbowl”.

  • JT

    Clever and interesting and certainly in the brand image of google, but I don’t see this as a Superbowl-worthy ad.

    I think Google could have done something a little more entertaining that stayed within the brand image.

  • http://www.benlamothe.com Ben LaMothe

    A very Google ad. Understated, cuts directly to the point. Not cluttered by actors, but has a clear story line.

  • rick

    It’s going to be great. It’s a beautiful ad. The music is perfect and no actors.

    It will stick out, especially amongst the usual SuperBowl ads. And people will rewind to re-see the searches.

    Great scoop, John.

  • http://www.mindovo.com Tony Mars @ Mindovo

    Thanks for surfacing this one!

  • http://softwareas.com Michael Mahemoff

    Nice ad, and I think it’s wrong to characterise it as primarily brand-focused. It looks more like an information campaign, where Google is exposing folks to the breadth of things they can use Google Search for. Most casual users wouldn’t think of using Google for translation, for example. So this is about increasing overall volume.

    Remember when Bing came out, and articles were ooh-ing and ah-ing over the different things you could do with it, from shopping to twitter search. And Google was quick to point out you could already do all of that with Google too, and released a series of short videos to promote those services. This looks like a continuation of that campaign.

  • http://www.cigreviews.com mark

    Nice,

    A guy went to France and got a girl pregnant, I think we can all relate to that.

  • http://www.apples2apples.us.com Christopher Cuellar

    Brand Message:

    Do whatever you want? “Googles gotcha covered” ?

  • http://www.tnooz.com/2010/02/07/news/super-bowl-ads-homeaway-yes-google-probably-kayak-no/ Dennis Schaal

    John: If your sleuthing is true, why do you think Google would decide to break with orthodoxy and place a Super Bowl ad now? What’s in the air today? Bing’s campaign? Certainly can’t be the whole answer. So, what do you think?

  • http://battellemedia.com John

    @Dennis I’ll be writing about those topics and more for Monday. Today I’m going to watch the game!

  • JG

    John – I agree with Dennis. I’d like to understand why the break with orthdoxy, now.

    And does this now mean that the past decade of Google non-self-advertisement was a historical anomaly, rather than the beginning of a new revolution in information?

    Welcome back to 1998, hmm?

  • http://patrascioiu.net Razvan

    You were right, huh :)

  • Debashis

    My 2 bits:
    They want to reach larger audience. The point that this superbowl touched all time high some 106 Mills. Basis was that this ad had been there in Utube since sometime. So it was just reaching out to Non tech savvy folks about the capability of the Google search.

    Secondly, It will bring about a era of new platform for Personalized advertising. It shows the potential of using the same ad secounds more than once. To explain further, this superbowl will be rerun and rerun again on the web, viewer on youtube(example sake) can be given an ad for Coke/Beer. Or a Pizza company round the corner to give him the capability to choose while watching this game. Or We can probably have a New York t-shirt manufacturer ad which can target
    all youtube viewers watching this in NY area…..