James Perrin

Google+ TV Ad Illustrates the Internet Giant’s Intentions

3rd Apr 2012 News, Industry News, Social Media 3 minutes to read

If you didn’t know already, Google have followed up from their previous television adverts with yet another one of their well styled and slick commercials; this time promoting their social network, Google+.

Whatever your opinions are of Google and their adverts (we’d love to hear them by the way), they provide us with some insights into the companies objectives as well as to whom they’re targeting Google+.

For anyone that hasn’t seen the advert, well I’m pretty sure you will over the next couple of weeks, but in case you can’t wait that long, here’s the advert in full, titled ‘Google+: Tom’.

What did you think? Did it pull at the heart strings? Well, first of all, we’d love to hear what your thoughts were on the advert, or indeed any of the previous adverts that Google have produced. Did it work? Have Google hit the nail on the head or have they gone over the top with their brand of emotional advertising? I’m not afraid to admit that I think they’re pretty good, but more importantly I think they’re pretty effective.

Yet, when you read between the lines, you get a flavour or an appreciation of just exactly what it is that Google are trying to achieve. Okay, so it’s clear that Google want to go head-to-head with Facebook over social media. Clearly they feel there is enough room for two, or even multiple social media platforms, and this is where the advert is telling, because they’ve given us an insight into their target audience.

Before we get into who their target audience is, it’s worth taking a look at who their current audience is, just for context.

State of Search have released and excellent infographic produced by students at the Fox School of Business. It details the difference in users between Google+ and Facebook. First of all, let’s put things into perspective, Google have just over 100 million users on their social network, compared to that of 845 million on Facebook. Whether their platform hasn’t taken off as they expected, or it’s all part of their game plan, a television advert has been called upon to pick off some of Facebook’s users.

It’s more telling when you see the current demographics of both platforms. Facebook has more women at 57% compared to Google+ at 29%, which means that the latter platform is predominantly used by males. The difference in age group is telling too; the majority of people currently on Google+ are 24 years and under (50%), whilst the majority of people on Facebook are those over 45 years of age (46%).

In addition to these findings, Google+ has long been viewed as a platform that only industry insiders and techy geeks use [See: Is Google+ Just for Geeks?], but having seen the advert, are these the people that Google are trying to target? Of course not, they want a piece of Facebook’s pie, and that’s where the advert is really revealing.

Whilst Facebook has always been a platform for people to share what they like, there’s never really been any way of differentiating between different circles of friends – and this is where Google+ hope to take advantage [See: Google +: The Long Awaited Social Network]. The Circles feature is a great way of ensuring that on Google+ you can interact with anyone, family, colleagues, friends; you name it you can interact with them – you can’t however do this on Facebook.

Whether this means that Google+ are trying to detract older users away from Facebook, is another thing; but based on this advert we definitely get the impression that Google+ are representing themselves as a more grown-up social media platform, whereas Facebook is a bit of fun when you’re a teenager. Also based on Google+ current user demographics its clear they are looking towards a different type of user to help make it go mainstream.

It would be interesting to hear your views on the advert, and how you interpreted it, so feel free to share below.

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