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.