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Google aired a particularly long Google+ ad during a Thanksgiving day NFL game. In deep contrast to loud football fans cheering on teams while guzzling beer, the ad has a relatively dull tone, dragging on for two minutes.
The ad is part of Google’s efforts to promote Google+ as a competitive player in a social space dominated by the likes of Facebook.
It basically features a close-up of a computer screen zooming into the various aspects of Google+ and different people talking. An old man says: “I don’t think people have changed that much in thousands of years and I think that they’re still fundamentally driven by the same internal needs, same desires, and the same kind of hopes”.
Referring to the circles feature on Google+, a young woman then says “It’s not relevant to talk about certain things with certain people, especially my guy friends. I don’t fill them in on every aspect of my life whereas I might do with my girlfriends or my mom or whatever”.
As the ad continues, more and more voices appear, all speaking in a monotonous, dream-like, tone.
One commenter has suggested that the mellow music in the background suggests Google may be trying to come across as more intellectual or sophisticated than Facebook.
In the past Google seemed to take pride in not following traditional media channels to advertise its brand, but in recent times this has changed. In February 2010 the company aired its first Super Bowl ad and received some good feedback.
So why does this latest offering feel so wrong?
If Google is trying to gain ground in the competition with Facebook, striving to lure more people to its Google+ network and getting them to build circles and share their lives, it should probably have to come up with something a little more exciting.