Google is launching an ad campaign today to run across print, outdoor and digital that focuses on online privacy and how the company uses personal data.
Developed by M&C Saatchi Worldwide, the "Good to Know" campaign is already slated to run in USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Economist. The campaign is minimalist, featuring simple drawings and small text on a white background. The take-away of one ad is that Google's search engine can predict whether someone is searching for a Volkswagen Beetle or the actual insect, based on whether they've recently been searching for cars. It then directs people to a site "to find out more about how Google uses information to make the web more useful."
The "Good to Know" campaign is an important branding effort for Google as internet users' concerns about how their personal data is used continue to mount. In the ads, Google seeks to tell consumers that there's a value exchange and that they reap benefits, such as more-personalized search results, in return for the company's knowledge of their search history.
Google has become a high-profile marketer, launching three TV ads featuring the Muppets and NBA announcer Bill Walton in late December to promote Google+ and its group-chat functionality, "Hangouts." It's a far cry from the company's attitude nearly two years ago, when former CEO Eric Schmidt tweeted, "Hell has indeed frozen over" after Google bought its first-ever TV ad during the Super Bowl.
The company invested significantly more in advertising in 2011 than it ever had before. It had spent $103 million on TV, print and online display ads as of August, compared to $53 million for all of 2010, according to Kantar Media.
The "Good to Know" campaign has already run in the U.K. and Germany.