Sunday, April 1

Gmailing Funny: Google

With a single mock marketing Web page, Google demonstrates that it understands social media and "smart" publicity better than most. I will not be surprised to see its April 1 Web page content cross over to mainstream news today and tomorrow.

As an April Fool's prank, they introduced Gmail Paper, which allows you to "print one, one thousand, or one hundred thousand of your emails. It’s whatever seems reasonable to you." And even better, "the cost of postage is offset with the help of relevant, targeted, unobtrusive advertisements, which will appear on the back of your Gmail Paper prints in red, bold, 36 pt Helvetica. No pop-ups, no flashy animations—these are physically impossible in the paper medium."

On the mock marketing page, you can even read a few testimonials, including Kevin S., CEO AdventaStar Inc., who says:
“I've always felt uneasy about the whole internet thing. With the help of Gmail Paper, now I'm taking matters back into my own hands, literally.” Or Bill K., Armchair Futurist, who explains: "It's paper, plain and easy. I sometimes find myself wondering: what will Google think of next? Cardboard?"

The third image says it all. A woman receiving an extremely large Gmail box, apparently filled with printed e-mails. Kudos to Google for a good gag that everyone is talking about. It fits well with their brand, a prank that not everyone could pull off.

There are only two dark clouds on the entire concept. First, it really demonstrates how easy it can be to write typical ad drivel that some companies try to pass off as a real marketing message. And secondly, some people will no doubt complain tomorrow that Gmail Paper isn't real or that the prank isn't funny. I say "polliwogs" to the critics. Three cheers for Google.

Digg!

3 comments:

Rich on 4/1/07, 10:12 PM said...

Famous Last Words:

"What’s the big joke? The need for hard copy email printouts is a serious matter." — Donna Bogatin, ZD Net

See told you so. You can read her column at ZDNet

Rich on 4/1/07, 11:29 PM said...

Impressive resume, but the word is "drivel"--not dribble.

Rich on 4/2/07, 7:20 AM said...

Thank you for the compliment and correction. I missed that yesterday. Easily fixed.

However, it might have been more interesting if you left your real name, after searching for AdventaStar, and structured your comment sentence better. ;)

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