Saturday, February 24, 2007

Google Gulp

I found something that really caught my attention while surfing the internet. On April 2005, Google announced Google Gulp, smart drinks designed to “Quench Your Thirst For Knowledge”.

At Google our mission is to organize the world's information and make it useful and accessible to our users. But any piece of information's usefulness derives, to a depressing degree, from the cognitive ability of the user who's using it. That's why we're pleased to announce Google Gulp (BETA)™ with Auto-Drink™ (LIMITED RELEASE), a line of "smart drinks" designed to maximize your surfing efficiency by making you more intelligent, and less thirsty.

The product was launched as a normal BETA version of a Google product. For this particular case, they included an introduction of Google’s Gulp features, product details of the 4 great flavors available, Frequently Asked Questions, and even Google Gulp’s Privacy Policy.

Google Gulp Drink in four flavours

This, of course, was simply part of another Google’s hoax in an attempt to trick the audience into believing that this new false product is real. This is not the first time Google does something similar though:

  • In 2002 it was the Pigeon Rank, where Google reveals the technology behind its PageRank System. Google touts the benefits of this cost-effective and efficient means of ranking pages, and reassures readers that there is no animal cruelty involved in the process.
  • In 2004, the Google’s Lunar/Copernicus Center; Fictitious job opportunities for a research center on the moon. Luna/X (a reference to the Windows XP visual style and Mac OS X) is the name of a new operating system they claimed to have created for working there.
  • And later in 2006 it was the turn of Google Romance; On April Fool's Day, a parody of online dating, the Google Romance, was announced on the main Google search page with the introduction, “Dating is a search problem. Solve it with Google Romance.” It pretends to offer a “Soulmate Search” to send users on a “Contextual Date”.


However, I find this incredibly interesting. Google has become much more than the world’s favorite search engine. It’s a software developer, a books publisher, a hardware seller, a video distributor and much, much more. A complete list of more than 80 Google’s products and services can be found on Wikipedia.


Google gulpWith such an unstoppable rhythm of innovation and undeniable valuable brand equity, I would not be surprised if Google eventually makes a move into the Drinks Market or any other unimaginable industry.


Actually, the idea of taking advantage of Google’s brand awareness and moving into the consumer products sector makes a lot of sense to me. Let’s not forget that, even with its numerous new launches, Google generates the big majority of its revenue from its main service (Search) through on-line advertisement and, finding ways of monetizing the rest of its products has been, and still continues to be, one of the company’s greatest challenges.

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