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February 27, 2007

Why I love the new Gmail ads

by Josh Bernoff

While reading the Wall St. Journal online I was irresistably attracted to something unusual on the side of the screen -- an ad for Gmail in the form of a YouTube widget. This had to get clicked on for several reasons:

  • I've hardly ever seen a YouTube widget as an ad on a regular media site.
  • It looked like it would be really silly.

And clicking paid off -- it was really silly. But in its own Google fashion, it told the story -- some nice features that Gmail has. And it also told another story, since it appears to have been made by a bunch of engineers with a video camera and leftover office supplies -- that there are real people working at Gmail and they're trying to make a good product.

In his book "All Marketers Are Liars" Seth Godin talks about how marketers need to tell an authentic story that stands out. Bingo. Google marshalled all its assets -- YouTube, authenticity, actual product features -- to tell a compelling story. Microsoft couldn't tell this story -- it wouldn't seem authentic. Apple would never let its engineers look this amateurish. Way to go, Google, on embracing your own image to sell your product.

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Paul Sweeney

It is a good add for the reasons you say. Back in the 60's (man), Andy Warhol commented that "all actors are liers", because he didn't accept the convention. Now here is another question, "why don't advertising agencies advertise?" :)

Marcelo Calbucci

I have no problem with the Google Ad per se, but they forgot the disclaimer saying it was an ad. And, sure enought it looked like just part of the editorial content of the site.

See my blog post: http://marcelo.sampasite.com/brave-tech-world/e/Google-bends-the-rules-for-its-o.htm

Todd Ebert

Google's marketing team had Seth Godin in to speak last year and it looks like they got what he was saying about authenticity. I've posted the video of Seth's presentation on my blog at http://toddebert.typepad.com/bad_marketing/2007/01/all_marketers_a.html


I also use Gmail, It has great storage space and accessing speed is good..


Google is really good at selling its image, that's why their stock continues to do well. Gmail is a good product which I use faithfully, at one time Yahoo mail was my favorite email host, but GMail has held my attention since its inception, when it was invitation only.

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