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Brand google’s communication visibility could be a problem

August 26, 2010

Google is facing a real problem with ubiquity, while to those inside the company might feel under threat from Facebook, by playing defense they’re on a fast-track to even greater ubiquity with Android, etc. Google’s plan for little blue links to appear wherever possible is no secret, but the challenge is how to do this in a way that people don’t cry foul, start to worry too much about privacy and mention nasty words like “monopoly”.

Up until a few years ago, Google was pretty quiet with its ads, if it did them, they were limited to viral efforts on YouTube. The company appeared to not really believe in them or in the traditional ad world in general. It’s creative executions were always amateurish, almost as if it was afraid to be considered a real brand. However, fast-forward to now and they appear to be smitten with the ad world. Lavish praise for a Superbowl spot and some nice work from outside agencies for Google Chrome must have helped.

Yesterday, the brand announced the launch of Google Voice and the product team was all bullish about the opportunity and prospects for its introduction. To add icing to the cake, they also talked about their plan to populate universities and airports with British telephone booths where people can trial Google Voice by making free calls. Great idea.

Google Voice Phone Box

Could this great work be creating more trouble than its worth?

Should Google by letting its product managers spend money to push their products?

Looked at on a case by case basis, it makes sense that products need budgets to launch, but when you ladder up the effect to a brand level, could the effect on the Google brand to make it appear even more ubiquitous than it already is?

For this in charge at Google, who wanted the brand to raise its profile, they have some difficult questions to answer.

What’s missing for me are some real stories that shouldn’t be coming out of the product teams, but at a brand level explaining how Google is doing good in the world through the work of its foundation and perhaps celebrating some of the other things its made better thanks to its technology.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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