Today I discovered the series of short films that Google commissioned in support of its new browser, Chrome, as I was reading an article in AdAge about the company’s first foray into broadcast product advertising (for the same product). I love (the majority) of these!
Like the brand itself, they are simple, innovative and fun. They exemplify creativity and are just plain well done. Except, perhaps, for “Binary Budokan” which, despite moments of brilliance, is about 1:58 too long (TRT: 1:58).
The ad Google will place on TV is a version of this short film.
The trailer for the short flim series can be viewed on Google’s blog.
Kudos to the creative shops who created these – the variety and imagination they represent are great.
The following is an addition to the original blog post from 5/11/09 in response to Edw3rd’s comments – thanks for the dialogue!
When I look at branded entertainment I try to answer a few questions:
- Is this on-brand? (or, even better, is this ownable by the brand?)
- Is this entertaining?
- Does this give me information about a brand/product?
I don’t necessarily judge it by its “virality” because I don’t think that’s the point of broadband content in all cases. Of course, it’s always great if you pass it on, but I don’t need every person in my target group to pass on a video as proof of it working.
So back to the questions.
Is this on-brand? Yes.
Functionally, it advertises a product that is easy to use and provides increased utility, which is what Google espouses 24/7.
From a creative perspective, Google’s brand DNA is carefully and successfully woven in here. Google lives and breathes being intuitive and inclusive, and a majority of these shorts use smart visual cues – blocks, dominos, post-it notes, a chalkboard – to convey this product’s simplicity and ease of use. I even think their approach to solving this communication challenge of hiring different companies to produce shorts reflects their collaborative and universal brand nature.
Is this entertaining? Yes.
Like with any body of work, some are stronger than others. But, overall, I think they are entertaining in a Google sort of way. These shorts are quirky, tongue-in-cheek and a little rough around the edges. They’re even a little trendy (translation: I’m sure all of Williamsburg and the East Village has already downloaded the song behind “Collaborate with the Whole Wide World”). But they are unusual and witty enough to keep my attention.
Does this give me information about a brand/product? Yes.
(Most of) the videos do talk about product benefits. “Features List” probably does this most extensively. “Defenders in Tights” talks about the specific safety features. “You and Your Browser” speaks to the key attributes that a user wants in a browser that, supposedly, Chrome fulfills.
And, by the way, I don’t necessarily disagree with your comment about AdWords. I just don’t think expanding browser capability and targeted ad serving functions are mutually exclusive.