Google’s first TV ad (as far as I can remember) was actually one borrowed from their online “Search Stories” campaign. It appeared online in November 2009.

Some of the online comments are quite scathing about such a “boring” schmaltzy commercial, but I think it was just right.

  1. It was based on their main frame of reference (search)
  2. Didn’t talk at all about the technology
  3. Told a simple story using only words and search boxes
  4. Occasionally hinted at Google’s cleverness (did you mean Louvre?)
  5. Was only marginally faster than a real Google search sequence (unlike Apple’s superfast simulations), and therefore a credible simulation
  6. While Bing is still trying to gain awareness and credibility, Google is saying to consumers “why would you even bother with Bing when Google already answers your questions”
  7. It was one of the only ads where people (at least my co-viewers) remembered the brand. Because every moment was linked to people’s real experience with that brand. Search box, type, search, get results, repeat.

Join the conversation! 4 Comments

  1. I agree…it was a strong branding ad. I got it…and they created an emotional tie back to the brand. Essentially, I like Google a bit more today after seeing it. So goal succeeded by them.

  2. It’s good. Cheesy as hell, but that doesn’t matter.

    I agree with Brian – I like them a little more. It was great brand advertising. You George will remember Mr. Weiden of W+K talking about branding, advertising and marriage. Marriages’ need sex – for brands, that’s product advertising. But marriages and brands need to rekindle the love too, romance. I think that is what Google was going for, and it worked.

  3. I’m with you, George. A simple presentation of a quite complicated story. And so much of it (In fact, the whole thing really) followed the “show, not tell” maxim for fiction writing.

    It’s like a cleverer version of the Gold Blend couple, or even the Oxo family. We’re suckers for a good storyline.

  4. I really admire the subtlety and restraint shown by both Google and the ad agency here. For Google’s first foray into TV advertising, especially in the context of gradually increasing competition from major players, there could have been a risk of overcomplicating the message or shouting too loud in order to stamp its authority. For such a dominant player I think the modesty of the ad hits just the right note and exudes a very appealing and approachable confidence. Very enjoyable indeed.

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