Someone at Google has been watching "Mad Men."
For whenever the company gets itself into a spot of bother, it turns, like cigarette companies of old, to traditional advertising.
After a touchingly devilish week in which Google attempted to force-feed Google+ to the socially overstuffed masses and overstepped the boundaries of commercial enthusiasm in Kenya, the company wants to make everyone feel safer online.
So, as the Los Angeles Times reveals it, Google is spending tens of millions of dollars on its new BFF: ads.
Yes, moldy-worldy ads, even more traditional than the TV spots that try to encourage the whole world to participate in Google+.
For these are print ads--the sort of things Don Draper so loved to create in between large dollops of alcohol and afternoon sex.
The campaign was created in the U.K. and is part of an initiative called "The Good To Know" campaign.
The ads remind people to make their passwords a little more clever than "pass." They encourage us to use two-step verification. They remind us to log out of our browsers. They even offer some tips on how to keep children away from some of daddy's Web sites.
The L.A. Times quotes Google's director of privacy, Alma Whitten, as declaring: "Given who we are, we have a strong incentive to make the Internet a place that people feel safe to do interesting things."
Yes, the incentive is truly muscular, as well as interesting.
Naturally, the more cynical might suggest that such a campaign helps Google politically in its quest not to be seen as a haughty, patronizing monopoly which is attempting to ensure that all mankind participates in its social network.
I merely remain titillated that a company that was once so against traditional advertising is now so smitten by its seductive qualities.
I fancy that the time is not long coming when Google will tug heartily at the core of old Procter and Gamble advertising and create a campaign that tells--with the help of a side-by-side demonstration--why Facebook is bad for your mental health.