The Associated Press recently published a story about a curious phenomenon: Google is one of the most lucrative ad-selling companies in the world, yet rarely indulges in buying ads for itself. Today we take a look at the advantages Google gains against its competitors by not advertising.
Although you can see Yahoo’s ads on TV and in movie theaters, Google doesn’t follow suit, instead relying on word of mouth, buzz marketing, and media coverage to spread its gospel. There are numerous advantages to be gained from not buying ads. Here are just a few:
Saving Money – By not spending money on creating ads and then buying web space or airtime for them, Google saves a significant amount of money it can use towards developing its products or paying its employees.
No Risk of Oversaturation – The Dell Guy. The Pets.com Sock Puppet. The Burger King (the mascot, not the company or the actual king). These were mascots and ad campaigns that overstayed their welcome. In fact, the Pets.com Sock Puppet actually became one of the symbols of the failures of the dot com era. Google avoids the danger of a disastrous campaign by simply not having one.
Cultivating Your Brand – There are intangible characteristics that you attribute to brands you see in a newspaper, in a magazine, or on TV. By not having a large presence in any of those common mediums, Google cultivates a certain mystique about them. In some ways, Google’s absence seem to imply that they are above those forms of advertising, that it doesn’t need advertising any more than a company like Digg does. Whether it can maintain this is certainly up for debate, but it’s certainly handled its marketing fairly masterfully so far.