On August 14, Mashable posted a blog article titled “Google Buys Newspaper Ad to Show Why Newspaper Ads Don’t Work.” Google’s ad ran in Canada’s Globe and Mail Newspaper and stated, “You know who needs a haircut? People searching for a haircut. Maybe that’s why ads on Google work.” The blog author felt it was “a nice bit of multi-faceted irony” that Google used a newspaper to attract advertisers onto its online platform.
But does the ad by default demonstrate the value of print ads (and print media,for that matter), and thereby render Google’s search engine ineffective?
Well, I didn’t chance upon this article while perusing a Canadian newspaper. It would not have found it’s way to Mashable readers everywhere via print. Google managed to create buzz that translated into online attention.
And this ad isn’t targeting our barber-less neighbors up north. It’s for those who still depend on print as their source of advertising. Print advertising isn’t completely dead. Google is taking the opportunity to provide incentive for those stillreading newspapers to transition to online ads on Google’s platform.
The bigger question is why Globe and Mail decided to run an ad that directly competes with its own source of funding.