The May Bank Holiday is merely hours away. “Yippee!” I hear you all cry. A lovely long weekend to enjoy being with family and friends, take a trip away or chill in front of the TV with a great movie.
Recent viewing in our home was The Internship (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson). A light and easy-going movie, I didn’t have any expectations of it being a thought-provoking, deeply moving or exciting film. How wrong could I be! It was BRILLIANT! If you’re a marketer in any sense of the word you will love this film.
Based partly at Googleplex HQ and partly at Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta it’s the story of two ‘older’, out-of-touch salesmen who lose their jobs only to enrol in the Google summer internship programme. Out of their depth they have to try and bond with the younger, quicker and smarter generation who are out to make them look even more ancient than they already feel. A competition set up as part of their internship brings bonding to the fore as well as a desire to win… and learn. As I said, it’s an easy-going movie.
It wasn’t rated highly by critics at the time. Mark Kermode was even quoted as saying it was “one of the most witless, humourless, vomit-inducingly horribly self-satisfied, smug, unfunny comedies I have ever seen”. No Oscar winner then but it is a fantastic lesson in branding. Not that you’d think Google needs any promotion. Virtually everyone on planet Earth has heard of the tech company. When Vince Vaughan and Jared Stern approached the company they assumed it was to get background information and that it would be based on a fictitious campus. Clearly someone saw the opportunity to extend their marketing reach and it was the Google name and brand that was put on screen.
A very clever and savvy advert not just for displaying the Google culture, free snack bar or products but also to excite new, prospective interns. Its appeal is in what people can see of the headquarters. An insight to how the company operates. An influx of new interns was probably chomping at the bit to apply.
“I think the reason why we got involved in it is that computer science has a marketing problem,” explained Google co-founder Larry Page at a Google conference shortly before the film’s release. “We’re the nerdy curmudgeons.”
So, even world renowned tech companies have marketing problems! Well, no longer. The entire film is one long Google-fest and I loved it. It made me want to work there! It’s a bright, colourful, young, fun and exciting environment. Work hard, play hard!
Sometimes you have to take chances when they come along in order to get your brand ‘out there’. Sergey Brin and Larry Page did just that. They wanted to market their company, Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern wanted to make a movie – everyone’s happy! And, like Hitchcock, Brin had a walk-on part.
Embrace every marketing opportunity. You never know where it will take you. To Hollywood and beyond….