Via Google Blogoscoped, Google turns Heathrow into testing lab from ZDNet covers Google opening a "Google Space" internet cafe at London's Heathrow airport, plus Google's been showing up in UK TV ads in conjunction with T-Mobile.
The Google Space cafe is open through December 19. Two Google employees will be on hand to help people use 10 laptops and discover Google products. Not sure what happens if they pop in and prefer to check Yahoo Mail instead!
A new Google Space page at the Google web site has official information and all the look and feel of another Google promotional campaign we wrote about earlier, Google College Life.
So when the Google Space page talks about "You may have heard about our Google Space project at London's Heathrow Airport in Terminal 1," it makes me think that somewhere, Google's probably running an ad campaign for this that hasn't yet surfaced.
That leads me to those TV ads. I first saw them about two weeks ago. They're pitching T-Mobile's Web 'n' Walk service, but Google is the starring player.
First it's girl meets boy:
Then girl spots boy's name
(or an author he's reading, it's not really clear):
So girl runs to the loo where she:
Googles the boy (or the author)
The she runs back and they have a happy conversation because she either found nothing bad about the boy or found something to talk about (the author he's reading).
I asked Google two weeks ago if they were paying for some of these ads (I've also seen print versions in the Daily Telegraph here), but I haven't yet gotten an answer. Fair to say, T-Mobile is not making a big deal of Google in these ads unless some type of arrangement has been reached.
Postscript: Philipp over at Google Blogoscoped reminds me that this ad already aired on German TV as he's written.
Postscript 2: Gary finds this BBC article, Google extends searching offline, that also talks about the program and quotes Google discussing it. Google's European director of marketing talks about how they see the area as a "huge focus group" and how all of Google's products all "comes back to our core DNA of search." Yep, helping people put banner ads on web pages (Google AdSense), helping them put ads in print publications (Google Publication Ads), helping them blog (Blogger), helping them do instant messaging (Google Talk), all that's pretty core to search -- not. But to be fair, none of these non-search activities appear to be mentioned in the Google Spaces area.