Google shows technoraks can be creative too

It’s good to see that Google’s flush of Lions winners at this year’s Cannes International Advertising Festival is no flash in the pan.

Currently, there are two excellent campaigns (or at least, two that I am aware of). They’re concise, to the point, and extremely well crafted. They even manage to make complex, potentially dull, subject matter amusing. Who would have thought technoraks capable of such a thing?

The first, which I noticed for the first time in today’s Guardian (although it has been running for a month) is the Good to Know campaign, devised by M&C Saatchi and Glue Isobar (part of Aegis). It’s essentially a public service campaign, endorsed by the Citizens Advice Bureau, which by means of simple line drawings and even simpler text manages to distil such recondite issues as online tracking, privacy browsing and IP addresses down to their most basic context. Naturally enough, the tone is upbeat.

Those concerned with the most sinister implications of behavioural targeting and ‘unsafe’ search would presumably be well advised to consult the proffered website, or indeed their local CAB directly. Nevertheless, the campaign performs its function well. I would not be surprised to find its timing has something to do with the high-level discussions going on in Brussels over the regulatory future of BT, which I covered in an earlier post.

Equally gem-like is a Google Analytics offering from Google Creative Labs (the in-house ad incubator that was behind those Cannes winners). This film ‘Online checkout’ uses a supermarket setting to skilfully drive home the point about irritating, counter-productive e-commerce security protocol. For you and for me all that stuff about timing out, tedious usernames and unintelligible word-games raises a hollow and knowing chuckle, no less resonant on second viewing. But we are not the audience. The aim is to teach web-publishers the error of their ways. User-friendly sites produce better sales results, and the best way to find out what works and what does not is to check out Google Analytics.

It’s rare to find a B2B ad that really shines. It should find little competition in the ‘business services’ category where it belongs. Sadly, for that very reason, it will probably not receive the wider feting it undoubtedly deserves.

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About Stuart Smith

Stuart Smith is one of the most incisive and knowledgeable commentators on global marketing. He was a long-time editor of Marketing Week during the period when it was the UK's leading marketing, media and advertising specialist publication. Visit Stuart Smith Blog.