I’ve been a fan for a long time. It takes a lot of effort for a person to know who you are. You’re popular, and you stand out with your style and your affinity for the primary colors—red, blue, and yellow. Plus, you know how to dress up and transform yourself for the calendar occasion. I know there’s a little extra meaning to the day when I’m seeing something different in your logo. And, if you think I didn’t notice you stuck to a non-primary color in your logo—green wasn’t lost on me. You’re a bit rebellious, and you don’t always see it as prudent to follow the rules, and that clearly allows you to carry yourself well.
Let’s talk about substance more than style. To me, you have a strong direction and values as a brand. You understand that one way to be a great brand is to focus on your users and, like a series of precisely placed dominoes, everything else will fall into place. If I’m not mistaken—and I’m not based on your quick use of the search engine—this focus on user experience helps define you as a brand. It’s a central tenet of great brand building – start with a great product that meets a human need. As for me, if I may be so daring, I really admire how you’ve managed to show off more than just the functional service that defined you; You have infused the brand with emotion and the human element. As a connoisseur of advertising, I still remember seeing your Super Bowl ad “Parisian Love.” I was watching ads in a room with my MBA students – this ad professor does just that on his Super Bowl Sunday. The ad was a surprise to many of us when it first appeared, but it showed everyone in school that you are much more than an efficient and good looking search engine; You are an integral part of the daily lives of so many people.
As good as Parisian Love was, you didn’t stop there. One of the principles of strong brand building is repetition with variation. In common parlance, strong brands know how to deliver a coherent message but keep their look and style fresh. You have done this over and over again. “Dear Sophie” told us about Google Chrome, but it did more than that, it told us the story of how brands offer products that serve us to make our lives better and, in terms of performance, I definitely had something stuck in my eye by the end of it. At least I learned my lesson when you made another appearance on the Super Bowl with “Loretta”—I was ready for her with a box of tissues in hand! Simply put, you know who you are and it gives the look of simplicity to all the great things you do. As someone with an almost lifelong passion for advertising, you add a lot of fuel to that passion.
I want to share one more thing about your brand that I love. I admire your honesty. Brands, like many of us in high school, often struggle to figure out who they are. Trust me, I know, I’ve spent countless hours trying to help brands understand what they represent. Still, you push yourself in a way that lets you know that brands have a purpose beyond the bottom dollar. Even though you’re a business, you look for synergies that make advertising profitable for both marketers and consumers—that’s certainly the holy grail of great advertising. Plus, the reason you’re so popular is that part of being you is that you care about the consumer. In your “Get Back to What You Love” ad, you reminded us that, while COVID-19 changed the way the world operated, it did not change the brand’s identity. You reminded us that you were there for us at every stage of the pandemic.
Look, I’m not the popular kid myself, but I still think we’ll be a great match. First off, while green isn’t my favorite color, there’s definitely a rebel inside me. Second, you are on the knowledge base – you give people more knowledge at their fingertips than they will ever be able to digest or understand. As a teacher, my currency is also knowledge; I research and collate knowledge to disseminate knowledge in a way that vastly improves the way people think. So, while we may do things a little differently, basically I think we have the same passion for knowledge.
I’d love to meet up sometime and have coffee. If you’re interested, well, all you have to do is find me online—I trust you, more than anyone, know how to do it!