Google Ad Campaign Champions Google Apps

Going Google is a new advertising and marketing campaign the search engine giant is using to tout its messaging and collaboration enterprise applications as alternatives to on-premises software from Microsoft and IBM. Google wants more customers to adopt its cloud computing approach, particularly as Microsoft readies its Office Web suite to counter Google Apps. IBM has also shown an interest in moving to the cloud with IBM Lotus Live.

One of the points people use to argue that Google Apps is not viable in businesses is that the company doesn't do anything to market the collaboration applications as alternatives to on-premises software from rivals such as Microsoft and IBM.

It's a hard argument to refute. While Microsoft throws millions of dollars at marketing Windows versus Apple's Mac and IBM spends millions on clever commercials about innovative solutions for businesses, Google lets its products hum quietly along on geek-speak and word of mouth.

That changed with the launch of "Going Google" for its Google Apps collaboration suite Aug. 3. See the video here.

In a billboard marketing campaign on four major U.S. highways, Google will tout the advantages of Google Apps, a suite of e-mail, word processing and other applications served via the Internet and hosted on Google's servers, as an alternative to applications from Microsoft, IBM and others that are downloaded locally to workers' PCs.

Drivers on the 101 in San Francisco, West Side Highway in New York, The Ike in Chicago and the Mass Pike in Boston will see billboards that tell the story of an anonymous IT manager who gets so fed up with the IT status quo that his company eventually goes Google. The billboard message will change each day to tell the story to commuting workers traveling to and from their offices in the four major cities.

Andy Berndt, managing director for Google's Creative Lab, fleshed out the value of embracing Google and the cloud in a blog post that takes shots at Microsoft Outlook, Exchange and the broader on-premises software approach:

""Every morning, millions of people wake up to a very refreshing experience at work. They don't see 'mailbox is full' errors in their e-mail. They don't worry about backing up their data. They can get to any file they need from any computer, anywhere with Internet access and a browser. They can all access and edit the same documents and spreadsheets at the same time as their colleagues. They use Gmail and Google Calendar at work as fluidly and easily as they use their personal Gmail accounts."They video, voice and text chat with their peers globally as naturally as they send email. The IT people at these companies and organizations don't waste time or money buying, installing or managing email servers. They focus on the smart, innovative stuff they want to work on, because they never have to bother with expensive and painful software upgrades, hardware compatibility issues or managing data centers. They have left many IT frustrations and costs behind and moved on to something better.""