Google Backs Into Being a Brand Advertiser on TV

In its often overly clever way, Google became a brand television advertiser this month. Here's the ad: Now, why do I say backed into? Well, this video was created by some Google employees in Japan (so it's not an effort by the main company, see?!), and it was an promotion…

In its often overly clever way, Google became a brand television advertiser this month. Here’s the ad:

Now, why do I say backed into? Well, this video was created by some Google employees in Japan (so it’s not an effort by the main company, see?!), and it was an promotion to show off how cool Chrome was (not designed to be an ad, see?!). It was released on the web first (see, not debuted on silly old school TV!), and when the ad got some pickup, Google decided to run it on its fledgling Google TV Ads service, the sole remaining attempt by the company to do Adsensify old media (see, we’re not really doing a traditional media buy!).

But none of this really matters. At all.

Because at the end of the day, consumers watching TV are going to see this ad, and judge it as that, an ad. That means the company, no matter how cleverly it’s thought itself into this execution, has to consider itself a brand advertiser, and act like one as well.

Question is, can it do that?

Author: John Battelle

A founder of NewCo (current CEO), sovrn (Chair), Federated Media, Web 2 Summit, The Industry Standard, Wired. Author, investor, board member (Acxiom, Sovrn, NewCo), bike rider, yoga practitioner.

6 thoughts on “Google Backs Into Being a Brand Advertiser on TV”

  1. It didn’t back into anything. Someone, somewhere within the company, made a conscious decision to cross a line. It was a line that for all of its corporate history it had great pride in not crossing (and great pleasure in telling us all about how wonderful it was not to cross that line). Now it has done so.

    New Google operating procedure: Throw stuff against the wall, and see if we can get it to stick by heavy marketing campaigns.

    😉

  2. While I’m not sure if this is a direction google will be successful with (especially in Japan where all these other internet ‘brands’ are far more prevalent than here: Yahoo, Excite, etc) – it’s definitely a very cute commercial!

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