Google Ads On TV Through Public Television Program Underwriting

Although Google has been known for making it’s name and brand awareness to this point by primarily using word-of-mouth, viral marketing, and great pr, it’s clear that the company is moving into using more traditional techniques to promote its products, services, and reinforce its name and brand in the consumer arena. MediaDailyNews reports that Google is currently sponsoring/underwriting (the actual text of the spot says “supporting”) the popular public tv program NOVA that airs on PBS. A 15 second Google video “spot” is seen before each program. A Nova also has a page for Google setup on its site where it’s listed as an underwriter and where you can view one of the 15 second announcements (QuickTime, Real, MS Media).

The text of the NOVA/Google Underwriter page reads:

At Google we value above all else the curious mind?the driving force behind so many advances in science and technology. For 30 years NOVA on PBS has embodied these values, presenting programming that encourages millions of viewers to ponder new possibilities. We are grateful for, and are proud to support, NOVA’s commitment to scientific exploration, and we look forward to the new discoveries we expect it to inspire.

The MediaDaily News offers more on what a viewer sees on during the Nova program:

The spots, which quietly launched at the end of the summer, start with the keywords “string theory,” “Egyptology,” and “astronomy” being typed into a search bar; as the terms are typed in, videos that relate to the subject appear behind the search bar. The spots end with the tagline: “Google is proud to support NOVA in the search for knowledge.”

The article goes on to quote Gary Stein from Jupiter Research who points out that:

Google has in the past run branded advertisements in outlets like NPR {National Public Radio], but they never appear to be targeted at consumers–the search giant’s radio ads, for example, were recruitment ads, inviting interested programmers to send their resumes to Mountain View.

John Battelle is also quoted in the story.

“I think they’re doing it in a medium that’s consistent with the brand ethos–a sponsorship as opposed to pure consumerist advertising.”

We’ve blogged about other Google consumer marketing/pr efforts in the past:

+ For example, in May, Danny posted about a consumer marketing campaign in Kansas City that offered both print and radio advertising.

+ The company sponsored a Google Bus Tour aimed at students in Korea

+ Launched billboard and other types of print ads in Japan to promote Google News.

+ Finally, Google’s Search for an Ad Agency, from January of this discussed an ad agency in the running for a rumored consumer marketing campaign.

Postscript: Thanks to Garett Rogers for his help with this post.

You can read the text of one of these spots in this Nova transcript.

Related reading

Google I O 2016 on Google
A graphic showing the old Google logo superimposed over a faint search results page.
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