Google has recruited the Muppets–a fond icon for many Gen Xers and the stars of a new movie–to promote Google+ Hangouts on TV.
Google, it is now clear, has flung itself headlong into TV advertising, since its first ad that aired during the Super Bowl in 2010–an event prefaced by Eric Schmidt’s infamous Tweet that hell has indeed frozen over.
But just who is Google trying to attract with its campaign–which has included spots on NBC’s Saturday Night Live”, Fox’s Glee and the World Series. To promote Chrome, it has recruited Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber.
None of these shows and artists, except perhaps the World Series, exactly screams out ‘we’re a serious social network.’
Which is what Google wants Google+ to be. One of its selling points as it goes up against Facebook is that it is a network for grownups, or least grownups that want to form circles for other grownups such as such as customers, partners, clients and colleagues. Friends and family too—but probably not in the same circle.
Starbucks Quadrupled Google+ Followers
It is also clearly hoping to make Pages a de facto online home for major brands.
Indeed, Google has been tinkering nonstop with the Google+ Pages offering since it formally debuted, most recently giving administrators more tools to control the Page.
Something is paying off: Google+ Page creation among the world’s top 100 brands jumped to 77% from 61% in the last month, while the number of people in circles increased over 50% from 147,000 to 222,000, according to a new report from BrightEdge.
Starbucks nearly quadrupled its social followers on Google+ in the last month and HM and Pepsi broke into 20,000-plus people in circles, it also said.
Still, Facebook is clearly the social network to beat, based on any number of metrics starting with its ever-expanding user base. It also generates more referrals than Google—far more–according to Netmarketshare, and leads in the number of display ads delivered, according to comScore.