Going advertising: Google billboard – sign of things to come?
One has often heard this in client conference rooms: ‘why can’t we build a brand without any advertising? Like Google?’. One can, if everyone had a Google-like product. Thanks to a heady mix of great product and PR, Google rarely had to use advertising to promote it’s search engine. With Microsoft offering some serious competition via Bing, Google has perhaps seen the need to get back at Microsoft. Google is now taking billboards across several US cities to promote Google Apps – a bundle of business applications that sells for $50 per worker annually, in a campaign labeled ‘Going Google’.
The cloud-based, free Google Apps have been around since 2007 but have not been a serious threat to Microsoft’s Office suite. Even though the paid version is ‘a fraction of what Microsoft Exchange costs’ it still hasn’t been able to break the big business’ preference for MS Office. With new ventures like Chrome OS, Google may have to rely on a lot more than word of mouth to promote it’s applications. The advantage it has is that Google being Google, it gets written about for anything it does. Even if it is a pretty average billboard put up in Boston.
Do yo think Google needs advertising to sell it’s wares?