Will Google+ TV Ads Be a Gamechanger for Social Networks?

Google is vamping up its marketing, promoting itself as the preferred network of choice.

Earlier this month, I wrote an article discouraging businesses from jumping on the Google+ train. To sum up, Google+ has opened for business, allowing corporate accounts not unlike Facebook’s brand pages. I argued that individuals should test the waters on G+, but brands should invest in Facebook brand pages for now.

This week, it seems the folks at Google don’t want us waiting any longer. As we near the end of November, Google is vamping up its marketing, promoting itself as the preferred network of choice.

On American Thanksgiving, Google+ aired a television commercial during the Green Bay Packers vs. Detroit Lions football game. The ad was promoting G+ as a space for connection.

“Sharing, but like real life: That’s a plus” ends the ad.

The advertisement is the first in a series of commercials designed to attract people to the  new social network. The commercial emphasizes G+’s “circles” ability, which customizes  the level of publicity for each update.

“It’s not relevant to talk about certain things with certain people” says a woman’s voice in the commercial, “especially my guy friends. I don’t fill them in on every aspect of my life, whereas I might with my girlfriends or my mom.”

Google+ isn’t the only network using television advertising to reach its audience. Bing also aired a series of commercials, which have been chronicled by our friends at Search Engine Watch.

But who exactly is G+ targeting? As a social network, you can hope for millions of members, like Facebook, but who realistically is going to switch over, or what justification can one have for having both a G+ and a Facebook account?

My prediction is that G+ will do well with the baby boomers.

The boomers are a generation eager to socialize, though for them, “Facebook” has a kind of a negative connotation. Though many boomers have already been lured into Facebook, not many of them like it. In my experience, I’ve found that people like my parents are more excited about networks like Linkedin, because they understand its purpose as a professional network.

“I don’t understand how people want to share everything with the world” says my mom, a boomer who doesn’t understand Facebook but owns an iPhone. I recommended Google+ for her, since she’ll be able to manage her circles and control how public her updates will be. Also, the G+ design is more professional, and there’s less content coming at you at once when compared to Facebook.

Not everyone is thrilled about G+, or their ads for that matter.  A recent article in Tech Crunch responds to the below Google+ ad, arguing that the commercial reveals the social network’s biggest problem: namely, forcing users into “constantly qualifying our interpersonal relationships.” You can read the full criticism here.

What do you think of the G+ commercials? Who is Google+ targeting with their ads and which users will bite?








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