UPDATED: Battelle got it exactly right. The ad ran, the one in the original post below. Schmidt’s Google Blog post from after the game invites us to view the rest of the ads in the series. Jeff Jarvis doesn’t get it, tweeting:
Disappointed Google didn’t make a new commercial appropriate to the Super Bowl. France? Football? Google?
A standard line I used to use in lectures on marketing in a Web 2.0 world, “Google’s method is viral attraction followed by targeted promotion. Have you ever seen an ad for Google?” Yes they did an ad for Chrome and last month Search Stories turned up online, but Google CEO Eric Schmidt is widely quoted as saying in 2006 that brand advertising is a waste of money, “The last bastion of unaccountable spending in corporate America.”
So why do we expect an ad now?
Because yesterday Eric Schmidt tweeted:
Can’t wait to watch the Superbowl tomorrow. Be sure to watch the ads in the 3rd quarter (someone said “Hell has indeed frozen over.”)
John crows that this was #3 in his 2009 predictions:
Google will see search share decline significantly for the first time ever. It will also struggle to find an answer to the question of how it diversifies its revenue in 2009. Search is the ultimate harvester of demand, and Google has become search’s Archer Daniels Midland – wherever a seed of demand might pop its head through the web’s soil, Google is there to harvest it. The media business is more than a demand fulfillment business, and Google must learn to create demand if it’s going to diversify. That means playing the brand game – a game that has long been owned by what we call “traditional media companies.” With these companies in a paralyzing economic death spiral (and their new media brethren, Microsoft, AOL, and Yahoo, in continued strategic sclerosis), Google has a unique opportunity to become a new kind of branded media company. It will fail to do so, mainly for cultural reasons.
Google is not listed among announced Super Bowl advertisers. The NYTimes’ Miguel Helft points to this spoof of the “search stories” ad poking fun at Tiger Woods. Some expect the ad will be for the Nexus One, which would makes good sense to me.