A few years back, I gave Microsoft a bad time over the horrible Bill Gates-Jerry Seinfeld commercials that said nothing about computing. My rant at the time: Microsoft is terribly out of touch with what real people want and need in their computing experiences.
Since then, the company has improved with its mainstream messaging. Consider the commercial that features a grocery shopping dad with a Windows being taken for a ride by a couple of giggling kids sitting in front of a desktop at home. (I would have embedded it but Microsoft doesn't make that easy.) The commercial is a good example of how Microsoft is finally using mainstream television to show real people how modern day computing can enhance their lives.
But now comes news that Google's Chrome browser is rising in popularity while Microsoft's Internet Explorer is steadily declining. What gives? Why is Google beating Microsoft on this front? Is it browser performance? Is it speed? Maybe it's the fact that Apple continues to sell Macs - which don't support IE - to former Windows users. My guess is that it's a combination of the above, as well as many other factors, including general awareness.
As fun as that Microsoft commercial is, I have to admit that I'm drawn more to Google's TV commercials - and it helps that I've been seeing them regular on "event television," such as Sunday NFL games.
From a creativity perspective, Google has always been very good at promoting its products via YouTube videos (which is really what these commercials are). Consider the video below. It's an inspiring can-do message that's especially relevant this time of year. It appeals to those of us who are looking for change in a new year - a regular date night with a loved one, getting the bedroom closet organized, taking that getaway trip, going back to school, improving the basketball shot and so on.
With these commercials, Google is telling us that it understand us, that it knows what we want and how we want it. Google is sending a subliminal message that, with the right tools on the right platform, any one of us can bring about change to make us better people. With the right tools - starting with Google Chrome - we can take this clean slate called a new year and really take ourselves to the places where we want to be.
It may be hokey but it's also inspiring - at a time when the world needs inspiration. And, when it comes to Google's campaign to bring more awareness about the power of the Internet and Chrome, the commercials also seem to be working.
The proof is in the numbers.