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Pac-Man Gobbles Up Google

Last Friday, Google turned its logo into a usable Pac-Man game. The gimmick was in celebration of the vintage game’s 30th anniversary. According to time management tool RescueTime, Google users spent near 5 million hours playing the game. Ironically, it wasn’t immediately clear whether the logo was actually a playable game or just another inventive, temporary restyling of the search engine brand, so those numbers could have feasibly been much, much higher. Google has since removed the game from it’s main page, but due to popular demand, you can still relive your childhood and waste your boss’s money by clicking here!

The "You" in YouTube

If you’ve been on YouTube lately (and we’re sure you have, probably right before you came to the Branding Ideas blog!), you’ve undoubtedly noticed a pop-up advertisement appear on the bottom of the viral video you watched. Google, which bought YouTube in 2006 for a whopping $1.65 billion, is attempting to monetize its user-uploaded content, even offering a cut of the profits to uploaders. Yesterday, YouTube Product Manager Shenaz Zack announced on the YouTube Biz Blog that the video site is “extending the YouTube Partnership Program to include individual popular videos.” Cutting costs and boosting revenue is never easy (just ask the U.S. government), but Google is giving it the old college try and getting its users in on the action. It’s part of a gradual but imminent trend in which the You in YouTube is indeed “You,” partnering with billion-dollar corporations to boost everyone’s bottom line. Whether it’s a long-term strategy that will help YouTube become a profitable enterprise remains to be seen, but it should be fun to watch them try!

Google Places First TV Ad

Advertising Age is reporting that Google is placing its first-ever television ad. The commercial, which is already posted on YouTube, is part of a multi-platform campaign to push Google’s new web browser Chrome and will air on Echostar’s Dish Network and several NBC Universal cable channels, including CNBC. Google is a minor player in the internet browser market, behind biggies like Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, Mozilla’s Firefox, and even Apple’s Safari, but the company is betting that a mix of traditional marketing like TV ads combined with their strategic online presence will pay off. Other industries are being forced to think outside the box these days too. The publishing industry has changed quite a bit in recent years, with books being rush-released to keep up with consumers’ technology-fueled demand. Self-publishing is becoming more and more popular, and even the marketing departments of traditional publishing houses are trying to find new ways to reach prospective readers as budgets get slashed and attention is being pulled to newer mediums. Some publishers and authors are using a more grass-roots approach, using social media like Twitter to get fans to help promote and generate buzz about new releases. Finding new ways to reach potential customers is key to growing your business, brand or product. Try something new and explore unique marketing opportunities and previously untapped resources. After all, necessity is the mother of invention…and reinvention.