Google Goes Retro With Billboard Advertising
Something has to be up when Google, salt of the Internet decides to use an antiquated form of 'push marketing' (namely billboards) to spread the word? It appears Google is desperate to be taken seriously in the corporate world, where customers remain reluctant to switch from Microsoft’s Desktop Office Suite in favour of a cloudier option such as Google Apps. So Google is taking it to the street with outdoor advertising.
As a first, Google is coughing up some significant denaro to compete against Microsoft which will be launching its latest Office suite in 2010. Google is aggressively putting a push to get the C-Suite crowd to switch to Google Apps from Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes, with specific tools such as Google Apps Migration for Lotus Notes and Google Apps Sync for Microsoft Outlook.
Now a new campaign on the Google Apps home page calls on businesses to "Join the movement. Spread the word. Go Google.
The company boasts that over 175 million business have "gone Google" so far, and the Web site refers to case studies of customers that have been successful with Gmail, Calendar, Docs and Talk.
To get started, all a company has to do is direct all departments within an organization to share this page with their co-workers and register to begin working with the apps.
But the outdoor billboard advertising is puzzling? Why would the veteran Internet conglomerate need to invest in a form of media that was outdated in the 20th Century? Perhaps the novelty factor? And also that no one is else of thier magnitude has taken this route in the last decade?
Drivers on San Francisco's Highway 101, New York's West Side Highway, Chicago's Eisenhower Expressway, and Boston's Massachusetts Turnpike will get to see Google's billboards first, which will feature a new message every day for a month starting August 3. Apparently the plan is to attack Silicon Valley, the Midwest and the Eastern corridor to target an IT-savvy market who spends a good amount of time commuting to and from their jobs.
Google going retro is a means to catch buzz-worthy attention, and the fact that bloggers like myself are writing about it extends the effectiveness of the campaign. What's old is new again...perhaps Google will also bring back "Drive-In Movie Theaters?"