Google’s Super Bowl Ad: Hell Freezes Over

Google Super Bowl Ad

Google (NSDQ: GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt tipped Twitter followers to watch the third quarter of the Super Bowl carefully Sunday for a sign that hell’s frozen over. It seems the search company is making a move that Schmidt insisted it didn’t need and wouldn’t do: brand advertising. John Battelle’s source says the ad being aired is Parisian Love, embedded below. Cute online but will it fly during live football? I’ll be watching the meters for that response.

Update: As expected, my HD set was just taken over by a giant white Google search screen showing Parisian Love. Got chuckles in my living room from the viewer seeing it for the first time. What did you think? Was the 60-second ad worth as much as $5 million?

I agree with Danny Sullivan — it’s no coincidence that Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) has been splashing out on Bing ads, some of them pretty eye catching. An ad for NexusOne might be more logical but could come with fullfillment and customer service issues. This ad is about the core of Google — and if you use Google search, they can pitch you anything right from the site. Google can afford a brand splurge every now and then more than it can afford to sit on a big lead and hope others’ marketing doesn’t work.

Schmidt’s explanation via corporate blog: “We didn’t set out to do a Super Bowl ad, or even a TV ad for search. Our goal was simply to create a series of short online videos about our products and our users, and how they interact. But we liked this video so much, and it’s had such a positive reaction on YouTube, that we decided to share it with a wider audience.” Oh, and would you please watch the other videos in the series?

Did Google score?: A 5.78 from USA Today’s Ad Meter panel, well down in the rankings; by comparison, the #1 ad — Betty White and Abe Vigoda for Snickers — scored 8.68.

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