“I can’t stop playing with it!”
“Have you seen Google yet today?”
A mere selection of the exclamations of moving dot-induced wonder in the office on Tuesday when computers were fired up for the day. It’s the simple things…
And that’s just the point. Essentially it was a simple idea, but when Google has a simple idea it happens to be seen by the average Brit more than 50 times every working day. When your logo is the most prominent in the UK – viewed once every nine minutes no less – changing it like never before will effortlessly create a media storm. They may have been nothing more than interactive dots, but I would argue that Google knew exactly what kind of impact they’d have – a big one.
So Tuesday it was crazy coloured dots and yesterday I kept re-typing my Google searches just to double check that – yes – the Google letters were lighting up with colour. It would seem the Google creative chaps are having a whole load of Adobe Flash fun over there at Taking Over the World HQ! I was almost disappointed to see the familiar 6 static letters sitting there in all their relative starkness this morning.
This foray into interactive logos has sparked a widespread online debate: just what are Google up to? The Guardian argues that the new doodles are hinting at a new future for search, whilst others think that it’s building up to some new HTML5-powered initiative. Whatever the reason, the fact that merely playing around with their logo instantaneously incites a blogosphere explosion demonstrates the PR powerhouse that is Google.
Of course, some people have argued that when Google is a brand built on simplicity and usability, playing around with “those pesky dots” (a description I later overheard on the train) achieves nothing more than frustrating a whole lot of people trying to use the search engine. Admittedly, by the end of the day I heard a few “Urgh, it’s giving me a headache” comments around the office, but overall I’d say the dots mostly incited reactions of childlike glee. Giving that Google is something the majority of people will use at some point in their working day, I think it’s a fun, positive move by Google to make people’s online habits just that tiny bit more interesting.
Love or hate those pesky dots, you can’t deny it: they were worth their weight in PR gold.