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Brand Google Launches Display Ad Campaign
By: Jeff Louis
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Brand Google doesn't advertise their products in a traditional sense very often. Googlers (Google employees) reveal flashes of creative genius when marketing Google's many "product lines" online. However, Google's many innovations and creativity don't reach consumers who aren't tied to the Internet via an IV.

Online penetration in the United States is over 77 percent (according to Internet World Statistics), but it seems that people consume media using other sources. In fact, TV penetration still outpaces the Internet by 21 percent, with 98.9 percent of total U.S. households having access to broadcast stations. 

Perhaps realizing that there were other ways to reach consumers, Google announced an advertising campaign to promote the company's display ad platform via advertising trade publications and other print mediums. While the campaign is based online, the move to other mediums is a rarity for the company. The effort, appropriately named "Watch This Space," was highlighted on the company's official Google Blog Thursday.

Indeed, it's no secret that Google offers display advertising services, but "Watch This Space" marks the company's first concerted undertaking at promoting their display services. The company's blog highlights this fact: "Advertising with Google used to be all about four lines of text, on Google.com and our partner sites. No longer."  

According to the blog, more than 40 percent of the company's ads are non-text-based ads. To bolster their case, Google cites several case studies on the Google's Display Network pages for brands like Jordan (a division of Nike), Carnival Cruise Lines, and Infiniti




Leroy_Smith_Display_Network_CampaignMichael Jordan retired from basketball over a decade ago (1999), and although his likeness and fame still sells shoes. Those who remember his on-court  magic are aging; the Jordan brand needed to rejuvenate their relevance to pique interest among younger consumers. With creative backing of  Wieden + Kennedy (W+K), brand Jordan launched a campaign built around the exploits of Leroy Smith, a former high school team mate of Jordan's who beat the then-unknown star for a starting position on the junior varsity basketball team.

With the backing of Smith, W+K and brand Jordan sought out the services of  Charlie Murphy -- brother of actor and comedian Eddie Murphy -- to portray Smith. The fictional Leroy Smith's pitch to the world? He uses infomercial skills to market DVDs on how he supposedly outsmarted and outplayed the famous No. 23.

The campaign was humorous, resonated with consumers, and generated strong participation that included 188 million impressions and 296 clicks in six weeks. In addition, it has been viewed on YouTube video 27,000 times, has 6,000 new followers on Twitter, and has a fan base of 11,000 on Facebook.

The effort, while successful for Nike's Jordan brand, wasn't the cream of the crop. To check out those that fared better, go to the Display Network's case study page.


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About the Author

Jeff Louis: Media Planner, Brand Project Manager, blogger, and aspiring writer. Please leave a comment or get in touch with Jeff on Twitter. As always, thank you for reading!

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