Back in 2006, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt infamously said that brand advertising was “The last bastion of unaccountable spending in corporate America.”
Supporting their Search Stories campaign, Google ran their “Parisian Love” television ad during the 3rd Quarter of the Saints / Colts Super Bowl. Of course Internet companies have a long history of running ads during the Super Bowl. And usually those attempts fail miserable (think Pets.com or E*Trade’s Monkey ad).
But Google’s latest effort is different than many of those failed Internet to Super Bowl Ads. As my P&G colleague Stan Joosten wrote:
Google ad stands out – story based on emotions from a company centered around analytics. Sign of maturity.
Or take the point of Rishad Tobaccowala (from Denuo Group):
GOOG ad smart because it’s usage not awareness that matters. Most folks dont realize all one can do. Not even us “experts”
So why exactly is the Google effort a sign of maturity and not just another example of “unaccountable spending?” From my viewpoint, the answer is in Google’s transformation from Tech Company to Consumer Marketer.
Ten years ago, Google was started as a pure tech company. Their mission was “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” while their name was a play on the word googol (the mathematical term for a 1 followed by 100 zeros).
But today, Google is much more than a search company based on a great technology. They are starting to truly become a Consumer Marketer, competing for the hearts, minds and wallets of consumers against fierce competitors like Apple, Nokia and Microsoft.
You see, the smartphone battle of the Nexus One vs the iPhone isn’t about technology. Neither is the search war between Google and Microsoft Bing.
In these competitions, Google is entering the world of traditional Brand / Consumer Marketing. Think Coke vs Pepsi… Bud Light vs Miller Light… or Old Spice vs Axe. These classic brand battles generally aren’t fought (or won) on technology or performance alone. They are fought with emotion, words, and stories. This fact isn’t lost on Google and they proved it with “Parisian Love.”
So let me be the first to welcome Google to the world of Consumer Marketing. I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with next.
See the full ad embedded below: