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What Google Doodle Can Teach You About Marketing

Brilliant marketing tool, or just plain silly?

By: Salle Mickey

When was the last time you googled something? Did you notice Google’s logo? Google.com, the worlds most visited website, has one of the most recognizable logos in the world. Now, have you ever noticed the Google logo transform itself in to an interactive guitar, an Olympic hurdle race, or a game of Pac-man? If you have ever fell prey to the time-wasting, counter productive, addicting little logos called Google Doodle’s, than you’re not alone.

Google Doodle’s are “fun surprising and sometimes spontaneous changes that are made to the Google logo to celebrate holidays, anniversaries and the lives of famous artists, pioneers and scientists”, and people can’t seem to get enough. Need to waste some time? Check out today’s Google Doodle in commemoration of Winsor McCay (1869-1934), an American cartoonist and animator who created the comic strip Little Nemo. This article says it might be the best Google Doodle ever (I am partial to this one honoring Charlie Chaplin, myself).

This Pac-man Google Doodle reportedly cost companies $120 million in lost productivity.

The people at Google are really on to something: Since 1998 they’ve created over 1,000 Google Doodles commemorating everything from Lego’s 50th anniversary, Van Gogh’s birthday, and even Big Bird. When the 2012 Olympic Google Doodle’s premiered, they wowed us with a new one each day for a week, and my Facebook and Twitter feed went crazy. People couldn’t seem to get enough. The Pac-Man Google Doodle reportedly cost companies more than $120 million in lost productivity. There is just something about ever changing logo that keeps people coming back for more. So are Google Doodle’s just silly little animations, or are they a brilliant marketing tool?

The answer is, both. They are fun and silly, but they also attract users to Google’s site, and they give the media an excuse to write about them.

So what can we learn from those fun little Google Doodles? Whether commemorating Ecuador’s Independence Day, Frida Kahlo’s 103rd birthday, or the 119th anniversary of the first documented ice cream sundae, Google has taught us just how important it is to stay current by getting people to come back for more. Holidays, anniversaries, birthdays and current events are all cause to celebrate and drive traffic to your site.

If you take anything away from Google Doodle, other than an obscene amount of time wasted oohing and awwing over their newest creation, learn that your audience, whether customers, clients or members, want you to be current. They need you to be current. They want to be engaged. Being current allows you to connect with your audience, and that connection is invaluable. If it is possible to incorporate a current event into your business or organization, then do it! Trust us, you’ll thank us for this one.

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