Why the Google Chrome ads are about more than speed and functionality

BBH has delivered some more brilliant work on behalf of Google Chrome. Check out this behind-the-scenes video on the latest effort focused on speed:

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This is just the most recent in a line of spots and making-of videos with a deconstructionist motif. It’s an intriguing choice, using a sort of hand-crafted, DIY approach to demonstrate a most technical of utilities. Creatively I think BBH has done a fantastic job of showcasing the product in a compelling and unexpected way, but I think they’ve also done something quite clever from a strategic standpoint, and it’s about more than just pushing Google’s browser.

apple pc google chromeLast year Microsoft, finally tired of having sand kicked in its face by Apple, enlisted Crispin Porter + Bogusky to reposition itself as something a little more clever, a little looser, a little less, well, a little less the guy on the left. CP+B created some truly inspired wackiness, enlisting Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld in an effort to say, “Hey, us Windows folks can be creative too.” I liked the spots, as did Grant McCracken (sorry, I’d link but Grant’s site has lost much of its archives). The point being, Apple owns the creative community and Microsoft wasn’t going to just cede that to them anymore.

A look at Noah Brier’s BrandTags shows that indeed, people associate the word “Creative” heavily with Apple. Microsoft? More like “Boring” and “Sucks”. 

I think Apple is now being forced to fight the equivalent of a land war in Asia (something any student of European history – and the film Princess Bride – knows is a tough spot to be in) as Google, through these Chrome spots is also making a play for the “creatives.”

The question then becomes, why? It’s more than just about Safari v. Chrome. As Google expands into more and more areas of our digital life the “creatives” market becomes more intriguing as assuredly that market has grown significantly since Apple staked its claim with the boundary-busting 1984 ad. Back then “creatives” meant a handful of people at the top ad agencies. Now, thanks to the Internet, Social Media and the emergence of the DIY ethos, a huge swathe of people consider themselves to be “creatives,” and those people, increasingly, are looking to get their hands on a smart phone. Obviously there is a “shiny new toy” quality to Google’s Android OS and Nexus One handset, but these numbers show how quickly they are moving into a territory that, perception-wise, Apple owns:

google nexus one apple iphone

The Google Chrome spots, like the CP+B efforts on behalf of Microsoft, help change the perception of the Google brand. They are slowly evolving from “wicked smart search algorithm and online ad behemoth” to “creators of innovative software and hardware across multiple platforms.” The former is a tough thing to make shareable – something “creatives” crave. The latter is what moves the marketplace of ideas.

Here’s the final Google Chrome spots, just out now:

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