Google is taking convergence to a whole new level with its new Google favorite places campaign. The search giant added a mobile couponing option to its Google Local Business Center listing. This means that when a mobile web search lands you on a business’s “Place Page,” you can get a coupon that is redeemable straight from your phone (no need for printing). I first learned about the technology when Google tried running it with newspaper ads on businesses. The ads displayed a QR code, a unique barcode that you could scan scan with any of hundreds of mobile devices — including iPhone, Android-powered phones, BlackBerry and more — to take you directly to that business’s listing on your mobile phone. Complete with reviews and contact information. Now the search mogul has launched the same technology for its Google favorites campaign. They are issuing 100,000 decals complete with unique QR barcodes for customers to scan. You can go up to a storefront and immediately find reviews, get a coupon if the business is offering one or star a business as a place you want to remember for the future.
One might find this sponsored text link displayed within a Google search:
Become a Google Favorite google.com/favoriteplaces Get eligible to receive a Google Maps decal. List your biz for free.
Another example of the campaign can be seen on this Youtube video advertising the campaign.
Google’s storytelling really comes into play by incorporating an example of one of the Google Favorites in their Youtube video. This tells the story of an Indian restaurant receiving the coupon and placing it on the window. It incorporates the explorer archetype as it shows couple of guys looking at the sticker then making their dining choice based on the reviews the phone finds on its mobile Google after scanning the barcode. Their use of two technologies to benefit their vast database of businesses helps both Google search and the local business displaying the sticker. I believe that the explorer archetype fits Google and this type of ad campaign works well for that. Using the same elements that made Google the strong brand that it is today, a company focused on exploring and information make this a successful campaign. The interesting thing will be to see if Google resurrects the print version of this technology to further tie in another media and convergence in its marketing.