Monday, January 24, 2011

Top 10 Google Doodles

On August 30, 1998 Google visitors from across the globe were intrigued to find an altered version of their beloved Google logo (know today as a Google Doodle) on the site's homepage. Twelve years and over 700 doodle's later, these logo treatments are benefiting not only Google's own brand and traffic, but the traffic of the top search results for the related images as well with some reporting up to three months worth of AdSense revenue in just one day.

Today the Google Doodle honors everything from standard to unusual global holidays, to famous politicians', artists', Saints', and leading thinkers' birthdays, to unique occurrences such as the Venus Transit and Unix Time. Below is a look at the Top 10 Google Doodles of all time:

Rank Image/Premier Date Why this doodle rocked
10 Google Doodle Burning Man

30 August 1998
Google's first ever doodle was released to commemorate company founders' (Sergey Brin and Larry Page) attendance at the week-long annual Burning Man Festival in Nevada..

(At this time the exclamation mark was part of the Google Beta logo.)
9 Google Doodle Holiday Series 2006

21 December 2006
In recent years Google has marked the holiday season with a series of ~5 images released daily leading up to Christmas.

This is the first doodle from the 2006 series which featured a kangaroo couple taking down the silver streamers see here to knit a dress for the female.
8 Andy Warhol Google Doodle

6 August 2002
On what would have been Andy Warhol's 74th birthday, Google honored the legendary artist with a pop art doodle, reflective of his famous four square, bright color paintings of pop culture celebrities, products, and icons.
7 Braille Google Doodle

4 January 2006
To celebrate Louise Braille's Birthday, for the first time Google produced a logo without alphanumerical characters, substituting them instead for their braille counterparts while keeping the traditional colors of the logo.
6 Uncle Same Google Doodle

30 November 1999
Google used one of their earliest doodles to premier their Uncle Sam Search, a new platform that searches only government web sites (mostly .gov and .mil). 

While the technology is still active today, it is not listed in any of the features, services, or tools in Google Help Central or anywhere in the Google Labs.
5 Google Doodle April Fools TISP

 1 April 2007
April Fools day hoaxes were nothing new to Google - previous years pranks had included everything from a search technology that will read minds to job opportunities at a research center on the moon - however 2007 was the first year a doodle had been dedicated to this US holiday. The big announcement of their new TiSP service (short for Toilet Internet Service Provider) was also complete with a Going with the Flow Starter Guide, press release, Help Group and FAQ.
4 iGoogle Doodle

 30 April 2008
To promote the launch of iGoogle artist themes and help increase activity on this platform, Jeff Koons was commissioned to create this Chrome Tulips doodle, along with several themes for the personalized homepages.

When it premiered only 20% of all visits to the home page were from iGoogle users.

9 October 2010
In another landmark doodle, this black & white logo transformed into a 32-sec. YouTube video tribute when users clicked on the doodle honoring John Lenon’s 70th birthday. The short clip featured Google letters getting sketched with peaceful drawings set to the tune one of Lennon's most famous songs, Imagine, and concluded with his iconic face serving as the OO's.

While Google had previous interactive doodles in the form of animations, HTML5, and JavaScript, this was the first time video was incorporated. This also marked the first time anything other than search results were used as the landing page for the doodle (however after the video finished playing users were automatically re-directed back to the search results).

 6 September 2010
The mysterious, complex and interactive doodles that appeared in early September 2010 sparked wild speculation across the technology world - top industry experts attributed the doodles to everything from an early 12th birthday celebration for Google, to an exercise in promoting HTML5, to a teaser for a much larger announcement, and much more.

For the first particle doodle, any time a mouse dragged over the logo the particles would instantly fly away from the mouse. For the second keystroke doodle, as text was entered into the search box the number of corresponding letters would instantly turn from gray to their regular hues.

Two days later all rumors were put to rest when Google revealed their new instant search, claiming to save users 11 hours with each passing second thanks to faster searches, smarter predictions, and instant results.

7 September 2010
1 Google Doodle Instant


21 May 2010
Most experts agree this interactive doodle honoring PacMan's 30th Anniversary is the top doodle of all time as it allowed users to play a live version of the game and the "I'm feeling lucky" search option button was also changed to "Insert Coin".

During the day, the average site time increased from 11 seconds to an astonishing 47 seconds and several analysts claimed the game led to $120.5M million in lost work productivity for the day.

So now that you've seen the Top 10 Google Doodles of all time - which  is your favorite? Do you feel any additional ones should be added to the list? (Additionally, if you are interested in learning more, check out the full listing of Google's Doodles or the History of Google Doodles.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Help! Someone hijacked my brand in social media!

According to a new McKinsey report, Beyond paid media: Marketing’s new vocabulary, there are two vocab words marketing execs should have added to their media business plans this year - sold and hijacked media. While sold media is simply a company selling media space on their own media (for example Ellen DeGeneres’s social community hosting ads), hijacked media is much more difficult to prevent and control, and can ultimately lead to the tarnishing of a corporate, product, or personal brand.
Some examples of hijacked media include:
  • Someone registering for a social media account using one of your brands
  •  A social media account being broken into and unapproved content released by the individual
  • A spin off (positive or negative) of a regular media campaign going viral

One of the most legendary brand hijackings of 2010 occurred during the Gulf Oil Spill crisis when the @BPGlobal PR account appeared on Twitter, sending sarcastic tweets and quickly amassing more followers than the real McCoy. While the folks at BP did not find this hoax very amusing, the hoax account came across to outsiders as more legitimate judging by its appearance alone.

So as a marketer, corporate lawyer, or brand protector, what rights do you have if someone is camping on your brand on the web? On the three most popular and interactive social media sites, your rights are fairly well protected:

  •        Facebook: In terms of businesses, the rights to administrators on a ‘Page’, aka the pages with the ‘like’ buttons, are limited to “authorized representatives”. If you go to create your page and someone is impersonating your company/brand, to report the problem you’ll need to fill in the form that appears when you are denied. In terms of personal impersonation, select the ‘Report/Block this person’ option on the hoax profile, then the ‘Fake Profile’ option, and add ‘Impersonating me or someone else’ as the reason. 
  •        Twitter: Like Facebook, while impersonation is illegal, parody accounts are permitted, however they must abide by the specific Twitter guidelines for these types of accounts and those in violation can be reported/terminated by filing a report here. Specifically, parody accounts cannot use the exact name of the company, product, or person and cannot be made with the clear intent to confuse or mislead.  What struck me as surprising though is the fact in the BP case mentioned above, the imposter account was asked to change its description to make it clear it was not really BP saying thing such as “The only harmful chemicals in our dispersant are the ones you inhale, silly” and “Honestly, why are we still talking about the spill? Twilight comes out next week! Come join us in line, but the account owner refused to change and today the page reflects its original content as when it was launched May 19th.
  •        YouTube: Similar to Facebook, YouTube channels cannot impersonate a person, business, or brand. However, unlike Facebook, creating a username that is someone else’s’ trademark is allowed, as long as it is not publishing content related to the owned trademark. Violations of this can be filed here.
So while hijacked media poses a serious threat, your rights are fairly well protected, however the ultimate decision lies in the hands of the site and regaining control may be a difficult/time consuming process.  

Next week I’ll take a look at easy ways to prevent brand hijacking so be sure to check back! 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

5 Ps of Marketing - What is the 5th P?

Anyone who has taken an entry-level marketing class can easily rattle off the basic 4-P’s of the marketing mix (Hint: Look at the blog’s title!), but as the ‘traditional’ marketing mix evolves, two important questions are being raised - Is it time to add a 5th P? and if so, What is the 5th P of marketing?

5th P of MarketingThe traditional marketing mix (product, place, price, promotion) is meant to define the marketing elements for successfully bringing an organization’s new product or service to market or evaluating an existing offer to optimize the impact on a target market. The credit for this original mix goes to E.J. McCarthy, a prominent American marketer, who first introduced the P’s back in 1960.

Since 1960, however, there have obviously been a lot of changes and advancements across the world of marketing. Most recently, the role of social media and web 2.0 have been taking the marketing world by storm. Due to these changes, several additional P’s have been proposed to be added to the original mix. Some of the front runners include:
  • People
  • Participation
  • Process
  • Physical Evidence
  • Passion
  • Perception
While the above list is far from complete for possible inclusions and the elements of people and participation are generally the top choices for inclusion into a revised mix, none of the above are strong enough or exclusive to stand on their own.

Instead, the similar elements of people and participation, whether it be people participating in web 2.0 sites such as Twitter, Facebook ‘like pages’, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Digg, etc. or people participating as brand ambassadors, should be classified as a part of the broader category place (where a product/service can be sold) and promotion (what is communicated about a product/service). Instead of a creating a new category, marketers need to view the above two as more transparent and as less controllable.
What are your thoughts? Should a 5th P be added and this blog’s title be changed?