Imagine if you can, for a moment, that you are Google.
You have revolutionised the advertising industry. Billions of marketing dollars now flow your way. Traditional outlets for ads, such as newspapers and magazines, are facing disaster and many have already shut down. You are under fire from media titans such as Rupert Murdoch, fearful of their own dead tree empires collapsing. Meanwhile, you are also trying to revolutionise another industry – the Microsoft one – and your latest focus is the shiny new Chrome browser with which you hope to lure internet-savvy punters away from their reliance on Internet Explorer and, ultimately, Windows.
How do you choose to inform the wider web using population about your new product? Pop-up ads on Google’s web site? Those carefully selected, oh-so-lucrative text ads alongside search results?
No. You choose… a newspaper advert. For today, Google, the scion of the print-free web future, bought a false front cover, wraparound advert in the free Metro newspaper to tell everyone why they should use the Chrome browser. Well, at least it chose a free paper and not one of Murdoch’s.
Downtime is printing off several thousand copies of this blog post at this very moment to send to all our readers.