One great. Two good. Visiting new ad campaign for Google Maps.
December 7, 2011
When Google Maps first came out I recall being awed by it. And a little frightened. After all, I could see your house and you could see mine. It felt like too much information for an address search. And maybe it is. Clearly, Google Maps serves a bigger purpose than getting directions. It lets us see every corner of the world. Literally. And while that undoubtedly aids spies and other nefarious characters, one can’t argue with how damn cool it is. Who needs surveillance when my grandmother can find a corner store in Kandahar?
Google Maps is a game-changer, and one I doubt needs to be advertised. But it appears that it is being advertised, in a print campaign from Europe. I do not know the work’s pedigree, or whether it’s even a real ad campaign, but like the product being advertised, it’s pretty sweet. “Know before you go,” reads the copy alongside a photograph of an ideal location sullied by the presence of unsavory neighbors. No question this highlights a major benefit of Google Maps. Seeing places just as they are.
By far the best execution of the lot is the Parisian hotel, bookmarked by two unsavory sex shops. Funny and very real. It’s absolutely believable: This could happen to you!
The other two ads (below) are fun but pale in comparison. First of all, they don’t dramatize the gritty realism of Google Maps. The photographs feel too lavish and, well, phony. With the sex shop ad one doesn’t need the added body copy. The picture pays off the product and the gag beautifully. The others do require the copy, otherwise we’re not sure what we are looking at: hotel, haunted house, or what? I’m not sure why the creative team felt compelled to push reality so far when reality itself turns the trick. I can almost hear my old boss telling me to go back and make the other ads as good at the first!