Google Runs a Super Bowl Ad. Will Higher Ed?

Has the dot-com advertising boom come full circle?

While not completely shocking, I was a bit surprised that Google was one of the advertisers in yesterday’s Super Bowl. It’s not that they don’t have the money, heck, to them, the $2.9 million or so that an ad spot costs is a drop in the bucket, but more it’s what they’re selling: search. Not apps or Gmail or YouTube or AdWords or anything. Search. Their “core” product.

We all search the web, dozens of times daily. And for many, Google has become a verb. The ability to search Google’s catalog is becoming ubiquitous, even my mothers uses Google 411 to search things out when she’s out and about.

In case you missed it, here’s the ad.

Personally, I really like it. Why? Because it’s simple, yet shows you how many different types of things you can find thanks to Google’s catalog. Jobs, shops, maps, you name it. Lots of little clever tricks too – like how they misspelled the “Louve” and it corrected the spelling.

This spot, unlike many other spots, didn’t try to be crass or crude, or go for a cheap laugh. It tells a cute story, simply and easily. It couldn’t have cost much to produce, and will live on and be featured on its own platforms like YouTube. I and people like me who spend hours a day using Google’s products most likely aren’t the target audience for this spot, but rather the more casual user who perhaps didn’t know you could get the kind of results you can from Google.

Locally, I saw one commercial spot for the University of Akron, who ran a nicely produced piece here in the Cleveland area. You can learn more about the spot from the University’s site here.

Note to my colleagues at Akron – get that video in YouTube. I just searched for your school’s name there to try to embed the video and one of the top results is students there reacting to the infamous “2Girls1Cup” video.

Trust me. Do not Google that.

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