There are a ton of potential uses for Google Plus Hangouts, and Google is doing something relatively big to help highlight them–they're putting out another TV commercial. I think I can count on one hand (maybe just a couple fingers) the number of times Google has bothered to advertise on television, so it's something to pay attention to anytime they do.
This time they're promoting Google Plus by way of highlighting the benefits of Hangouts, the group video chat service within Google Plus. And while I've spent plenty of time on this site singing the praises of Google Hangouts for business uses, Google wants to remind you there are plenty of everyday uses for friends and family as well.
Like… rocking out.
Google Hangouts TV Commercial, Starring The Muppets
[Video removed from YouTube]
This is incredibly smart advertising for a number of reasons:
1. Google Plus needs to court the "common user" if they're ever going to make a serious run at Facebook. right now, they've added an impressive number of users in just half a year, but most of those users are from the "early adopter" or "tech savvy" crowd.
Google knows that the everyday user is where it's at, so by highlighting how fun Hangouts can be with your friends, they're making the product instantly more accessible.
2. Muppets are hot right now. You might have heard they put a new Muppet movie out. It did incredibly well at the box office, and critics and fans alike were thrilled. They're about as hot as they've ever been. Any brand that rides the wave of a cultural icon or hot topic is smart… the built-in interest in The Muppets will help the commercial grab attention on television and online.
3. Google doesn't do television advertising lightly, and typically has good timing. The first TV commercial I remember was the Super Bowl spot (Parisian Love). Why the Super Bowl? Because everyone's watching. And it's smart timing to release the Muppets commercial now as well, as families gather for Christmas and televisions will be on in houses all over the world.
4. The ad walks the fine line between product demonstration and straight-up entertainment, and ends up being both. We're smiling and laughing at the antics of the Muppets, but we may not even realize that we're also learning how easy Google Plus Hangouts is to use.
The people behind The Muppets must be big Queen fans, as this makes the second song by the band that the Muppets have "covered" after Bohemian Rhapsody.