Showcasing tales that would melt your heart, the Google India advertising journey has been all things incredible. Taking a detour, we relook at the search engine’s marketing saga.
Google, an American search engine company, founded in 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page forayed in India in 2003-04, at a time when the internet penetration in the country was just 0.4% as compared to the 500 million and growing internet user base now. While there is no clear indication of when and how did Google start promoting its offerings in the Indian market, there is a huge portfolio of the company when it comes to launching campaigns,-keeping the Indian consumer at the core of its communication strategy. Here’s a quick throwback at the saga that featured the Google India advertising journey and invoked million other emotions.
Google India Advertising Journey- A summary
In its initial years, Google helped fans discover films, movie characters, songs, actors, showtimes, and trailers aligning its core objective of connecting people through the power of the Internet. Towards 2007-08, the company stated that mobiles will become the primary means of access to the Internet. Following the announcements, it also joined hands with telcos like Airtel to amplify the message set up amidst a dystopian narrative to promote ‘Search Made Simple’.
After making users aware of the more sophisticated version of Google Chrome, the company shifted its focus to cricket in 2010 when the DLF IPL’s craze loomed over India.
Further, with initiatives like Google Doodle for India, Engage India, and service suites like Adwords, Gmail, and Google Hangouts, the company constantly looked for marketing the product specifications with suitable narratives in its advertising.
In 2012, as part of a global campaign ‘Web is what you make of it’, conceptualised by BBH for the Indian series, highlighted common users in India and around the world who are passionate to leverage the power of the web to achieve the extraordinary.
In 2013, Ogilvy India and Google India weaved a heartwarming tale that traveled across boundaries and won millions of hearts, taking the storytelling aspect one notch higher. Titled ‘Reunion’, the three-and-a-half-minute ad film was directed by Amit Sharma, written by Sukesh Kumar Nayak, produced by Ogilvy & Mather (now Ogilvy).
Reunion was filmed in different areas in Delhi, including an old Haveli in Connaught Place, Red Fort, India Gate, and a small scene in Lahore, Pakistan. For the 2014 election campaign, Google teamed up with celebrities like Amitabh Bachchan and Virender Sehwag to urge users to vote as responsible citizens.
Later, for India, Google shifted its major focus on democratizing Internet access for non-English speakers considering the growing penetration of the Internet in the hinterlands – it launched Voice search and easier text input mechanisms within Android Google Search App.
Then came ‘The Hero- A Bollywood Story’ in 2016 created by Lowe Lintas Delhi starring Vicky Kaushal. The story of a father and son on a journey to rediscover dreams, Bollywood style, with Google Search by their side.
With programmes like #SkillUpScaleUp and Internet Saathi, Google India has been constantly sharing real tales of achievers from the hinterlands and the urban population who strived to do the extraordinary with the help of Google products.
For its Google Pixel offering, the brand brought on board Twinkle Khanna a.k.a Mr.Funnybones where she talks about juggling various roles and responsibilities and still finds time to take a selfie where Google is her constant partner.
The company’s 2018’s Google For India – a short film created by Leo Burnett, depicted how the internet empowers people. It largely focused on rural India and showcased how using the internet has made people more independent.
In February 2020, in a bid to step up its efforts to ensure the online safety of users amid increasing reports of cyberattacks, the spread of fake information, and hate speech, Google India rolled out #PehleSafety to educate users about best practices to stay safe online.
December 2020 saw the company release a video campaign, #BolneSeSabHoga featuring Gajraj Rao. Google recognized a relevant Indian behaviour of asking for help and built its campaign around it. The ad promotes an ideology of getting all your questions answered by asking the right person.