Google’s “Dear Sophie” TV spot for Chrome, in which a father creates a Gmail account for his newborn daughter and sends her multi-media messages as she grows up, earned the top spot in Ace Metrix’ rankings of websites’ TV advertisements. Despite being a recent and reluctant entrant to TV advertising, Google dominated the rankings with five of its ads coming in among the top ten. Bing wasn’t too far behind, however, with three ads making the list.
The Dear Sophie creative was especially popular among women between 16 and 20, and 36 to 49, who rated it extremely highly for likeability, attention, change and relevance. Other Google spots that made the top ten include The Johnny Cash Project, It Gets Better, Lady Gaga: Mother Monster and Mom & Pop: Daniel & Jennifer Northcutt.
Google’s success is especially notable given that the company had a long history of being wary of marketing spending. For quite a while, Google contended that its products spoke for themselves, and it relied on word-of-mouth to spread the word about new releases. In the last few years, however, the company has succumbed and begun marketing in earnest, even buying a Super Bowl ad.
Effective Bing ads include two featuring the Krochet Kids, a non-profit that trains women in Uganda to crochet, then selling the hats they make. The third highlights the Real Steel motion picture, showing how a person could find out about the movie, showtimes, and coordinate with friends using Bing’s features.
The element that unifies the effective ads is storytelling. Rather than simply explaining the product’s features, these ads tell stories in which the technology is the hero. In “Dear Sophie,” Gmail and the Chrome browser allow the new father to connect with his daughter. In “The Johnny Cash Project,” YouTube allows music video producers to share a crowdsourced video of Johnny Cash’s final recording. The Krochet Kids ad tells the story of the non-profit organization.
Additionally, Ace Metrix noted that Google’s success was also driven by extensive testing. Google releases videos on YouTube and can gauge reaction before committing to the big bucks for TV placement.