To Google Or Not To Google?
When is a brand not a brand?
When its trademark has slipped into common usage.
This is an issue that has been around for years but it continues to be an issue for our writers.
For a company it’s a double-edged sword. You have a product of such importance the brand name enters the vocabulary, whilst at the same time your product ceases to be exclusive. One of the best examples of this is ‘Hoover’ (meaning vacuum cleaner). Hoovering the carpet is a common expression, but it’s of no value to the manufacturer when you’re ‘Hoovering’ with a Dyson….!
Other examples would be ‘Tannoy’ (meaning public address system), and our most popular one ‘Google’ (when used to mean a general online search). That last example is the inspiration for this blog.
When writing for radio one boost we’ve had in recent years is being able to direct listeners to the client’s website. As a point of reference it is far easier to remember than a phone number.
Also as listener’s habits change many people are listening to the radio online when they hear the commercial, giving them the opportunity to look the client up immediately. RAB / IAB research has demonstrated that at any given time 20% of all online users are listening to the radio.
Often we’ll include the actual web address but sometimes it’s easier to request the listener to search online for the client.
In this instance we can’t use the word Google as a verb (ie, Google Wilson Garage Norwich) but we can use their name as a Noun (ie, Search Google for Wilson Garage Norwich) or better still not use their name at all (ie, Search online for Wilson Garage Norwich).
So you’ll no doubt tell your friends to ‘Google the JMS group’ – but don’t dare say it on the airwaves!
Just one of many small quirks a copywriter comes across which we thought was worth sharing.