December 26, 2011
Google Recruits The Muppets To Advertise Google+ Hangouts
Google, looking for new ideas to promote Google+ Hangouts on TV, has recruited the help of some of America´s favorite television icons -- The Muppets.
While you won´t actually be able to add Kermit or Miss Piggy to your Circles, you can at least pretend what that experience would be like thanks to a new TV spot Google is running. The ad features The Muppets using Google+ for an improvised band session, rocking out to a cover of Queen/David Bowie´s “Under Pressure,” using a Google+ Hangout.This is not the first time Google has looked to The Muppets to support one of its products -- the Internet search giant recently celebrated Muppet creator Jim Henson´s would-be 75th birthday by using The Muppets to form an interactive “Google” logo. The doodle included a number of fun Easter Eggs for those exploring the animation of the made-up logo characters.
And now, Google is hoping by using The Muppets in its new ad campaign, it will encourage use of Google+. While figures on Google+ use have been hard to determine, there has been some increase in traffic on the service. Stats from data service Hitwise in November found Google+ had its third largest week of traffic for the week ending November 12 -- a 25 percent increase in traffic since October.
The Los Angeles Times reported that overall traffic to Google+ has allegedly fallen by half in the first 21 weeks of service. Hitwise reported that Google+ peaked at around 15 million visitors before losing more than half of its traffic in subsequent weeks. The most recent data puts Google+ at about 6.8 million weekly visitors (as of mid-November).
Despite lackluster visits, Google´s own statistics show Google+ as the second most-searched-for term in 2011, which would mean that people are at least interested in the service. However, even Google+ searches have dropped recently. Searches spiked in July when the service was in its invitation-only phase, and only a mild spike occurred in September when it opened to the public.
So can Google attract users with its new Hangouts ad? Can The Muppets save Google+? It is still too early to tell, but it appears Google+ is closer to approaching stability than it is to achieving a surge in growth. But The Muppets could be the wild card for Google+ Hangouts.
What is Google+ Hangout?
Hangout is a group video chatting feature which, according to Google, contain the easiest-to-use and highest-quality group video chat service available. Hangout is free to use through Google+, which is also free. Users with an existing Google account should already be able to sign in and use the service. Otherwise, you can sign up for free at http://plus.google.com.
One of Hangout´s best advantages, besides offering high-quality video and being free, is that up to 10 people can video-chat simultaneously. A hangout shows a big video screen, and below that a bunch of small ones showing the rest of the participants. Whoever is talking is automatically moved to the big screen.
You can watch a Google+ Hangout video chat session featuring Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the stars of their new Muppet movie at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hof5nlozAxU.
While Facebook will continue to dominate as the most popular social network service, Google+ could give it a run for its money with the new Hangout feature. Google is putting money on its TV ad spots to promote Hangout, which have proven to be more successful than other tech companies that have used advertising on TV for far longer, according to television analytics firm Ace Metrix.
Google has broken five of the top 10 most effective website TV ads this year, the company has reported. Its most effective campaign was not one that featured Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber, but one called “Dear Sophie,” which promoted Google Chrome by portraying a little girl´s life through the eyes of her father using a Gmail “diary.” It achieved an Ace Score of 661 (a score that is 22 percent higher than the category norm of 544).
Besides the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, and The Muppets, Google is also promoting Google+ with the aid of Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama.