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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Google Uses Outdoor Billboards To Promote Goog411

Goog411 Billboard

Photo by Mike Blumenthal.
Used with permission.

Mike Blumenthal took a picture of

a billboard ad
in upstate New York for Google’s free directory assistance
alternative, Goog411. This is
interesting and amusing for a number of reasons.

The company, which has historically not marketed its products (although that
is changing), is using a very traditional ad medium to promote its
non-traditional local voice search offering. However, people will see this when
they’re driving in their cars, which is one of the expected use cases. Another
interesting thing is the location, a relatively obscure rural area:

Photo by Mike Blumenthal.
Used with permission.

But perhaps that’s also quite intentional, to test a campaign and see if it
drives traffic, so to speak.

Postscript: Valleywag picked this up and thinks it’s not a test of the efficacy of traditional media to build an audience for Goog411. Rather they think:

Google is interested in expanding into all forms of advertising, including the $7 billion outdoor market — billboards, that is. Perhaps it’s purchased some billboard space, in the hopes of using its dynamic, auction-based ad-selling system to resell it at a profit. Until it finds buyers, it may be using the billboards to promote its own services.

Clearly Google has an out-of-home strategy (some discussion here), but I’m not sure this is its introduction.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

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