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Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) commonly gets kudos in the wireless industry for educating the public on using advanced cellphone capabilities through millions of dollars of catchy commercials. So, the big question is will Google (NSDQ: GOOG) follow suit and do the same when its first phone — the T-Mobile G1 — launches in a couple of weeks? The move would be a big departure for the Internet search giant, which largely relies on word-of-mouth and partnerships to promote their services. However, it may be forced to switch gears, reports WSJ.
Apparently, the debate on whether the company should advertise started during the Olympics when some employees cooked up a plan to sell airtime on NBC to other advertisers and to take out a spot to promote a Google product. But Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page felt a splashy TV ad wouldn’t fit with Google’s image. The pair of executives (who showed up on rollerblades during the phone’s unveiling) may just have to change their minds, after all they are now expecting people to buy something from them, whereas most of their services to date have been free. Branding experts agree. People “still default to Google as only search,” says Rita Rodriguez, chief executive of the U.S. division of Brand Union, a unit of WPP Group.
The WSJ reports that T-Mobile will lead the TV efforts while Google will lead the online efforts. At the phone’s unveiling last month, T-Mobile said the marketing efforts will start in October, and will be the biggest campaign the wireless carrier has ever launched.