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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Google makes Apple-style TV ads to sell you Chrome

By Chris Matyszczyk -

You may know all about browsers, but real people don't.
A lot of them get a browser when they buy their laptops and they stick to that browser, not knowing that, well, you can download another browser. Yes, for free.
So this week, Google took the opportunity to do something not very Googlish. It launched shiny new TV ads in shows like "Glee"--ads that tug at your heartstrings so that you can get in touch with your inner browser fascination.
One ad is a sweet, emotional thing that traces everything a dad can do on Chrome to chronicle his new daughter's life.
How can you not be moved? How can you not be warmed? And how can you not be just slightly reminded of Apple's ads for FaceTime?

We're talking family. We're talking feelings. Hold on a minute, we're talking Google?
Yes, the company dipped its nerve-endings in the water with its sweet and simple "Parisian Love" ad that it ran just two Super Bowls ago.
But how charming that the company is now embracing TV ads as if they were cousins who had moved abroad a decade ago. And, in a fit of heartfelt intelligence, Google understands that listing the rational virtues of a browser won't get real people to pay attention. Because real people are often moved in more subtle, less informational ways.
Indeed, the second ad in this new push is an even braver and more successful attempt. In support of Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" campaign, which helps gay teens cope with bullying at such a difficult stage of their lives, Google shows that it is an organization that is, in this instance, not afraid to confront issues and take sides.
It might seem strange to talk people into changing browsers by revealing how one campaigner can use Chrome to help gay teens. But this ad shows an understanding of the various subtle and emotional ways that so many people are moved from one brand to another.
One can only look forward to more, as Google's brand has sorely lacked a true emotional connection with the outside world for a very long time. I still won't be downloading Chrome, though. Too many gizmos from one company just doesn't feel right.

Chris Matyszczyk is an award-winning creative director who advises major corporations on content creation and marketing. He brings an irreverent, sarcastic, and sometimes ironic voice to the tech world. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET.

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