Google advertises in lots of good old fashioned ways

In his typical insightful way, master of the search universe Danny Sullivan provides a thorough breakdown of the Google ad that appeared on the Superbowl last night.

In his post, he also runs down several past examples of Google using “traditional advertising,” including a TV campaign to support the Chrome browser, outdoor and some local radio to support AdSense. (I would add that as part of its holiday airport free wifi campaign, many of the airports had lots of “place-based” signage associated with the effort.)

One thing Danny didn’t mention was Google’s aggressive use of good old fashioned direct mail. That’s right: Direct Mail sent via the U.S. Postal Service (snail mail) and printed on paper (dead trees).

To judge from the inbox of one small business owner — me — I’d guess that Google is spending lots of money targeting small business owners on an array of fronts, from promoting Adsense to encourage businesses to list their companies on Google Maps (Google Local) to promoting Google Docs as an enterprise alternative to Microsoft products.

Below are photos of just two of the direct marketing campaigns I’ve received in recent weeks.

The first promotes Google Maps and the second promotes Google “Apps” (a business-twist on the suite of software and services offers for free via Google Docs).

As a small business owner who spends lots of time (as in, a big part of every day) communicating with other small business owners (In addition to being its creator, I am “head-helper” at, I’ll add this: Google’s direct marketing is smart. And if they just depended on search advertising to sell their services, they’d never penetrate this market fully.

Bottomline: Internet advertising does not do away with the need to reach customers in a myriad of ways. Many marketing channels are better than fewer marketing channels.