Standing for something…

Lets make no mistake, this advert, in support of the “It Gets Better Project” was a brave thing for Google to do:

One the one hand they risk starting a debate about Google’s support of politicized causes, which the advert did. On the other hand they risk looking disingenuous, a company latching on to a good thing and trying to take credit for it or use it for commercial gain (well they are using a charitable cause for commercial gain aren’t they?) – these are big risks for a large public company with a market cap of over $164bn to take!

This is why it was the right decision:

In my opinion Google made the right choice, here is why:

  • Google are not being disingenuous and anyone who cares to do some research can see that, they have famously supported other gay causes and marches for years: They publicly opposed California’s Prop 8 and they have used the rainbow flag in gay related search terms in the past, they even have benefits to gay employees to offest tax issues in the US – I think it is fair to say they have a genuine interest here!
  • Google are a genuinely different organisation, in their IPO letter in 2004 Google’s founders made it very clear that: “we will be better served-as shareholders and in all other ways-by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains. This is an important aspect of our culture and is broadly shared within the company.”  – They genuinely follow this philosophy
  • The above make Google 2 things which are very important: Brave and Genuine, they are a company that stand for something, their advertising reflects that
  • This advertising is effective precisely because it is genuine, because it comes from a good and positive place, not a corporate (disingenuous) one, as such it creates an emotional reaction in the audience that is linked to the brand
  • But more importantly Google are showing no fear, they are doing something they feel is right and are unafraid of the inevitable lash back from right wing groups, this is great to see because they are recognizing the fact that they will not please everyone and they don’t care, they are a strong and confident brand and are acting like it
I am not for a moment saying every brand should try to support a highly politicized cause, it won’t be right for every brand and it would be kinda weird! However I am saying that brands need to be confident, they need to be genuine and stand behind the words and slogans with real actions, like Google have done. 

Well done Google, you have taken an important stand on an important issue – for that I respect you. 

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