Google Maps TV Ad Spreads Online

Google Maps TV Ad Spreads Online
January 31, 2006
This consumer-generated 30-second spot has launched a frenzied viral campaign.
Creative Notes
Subject: Google Maps
Director: Jeff Apps
Campaign Details
Campaign Insight
Google Maps has a solid fan base. Jeff Apps, a director, has channeled Google Maps appreciation with this 30-second spot. The spot never ran on TV, but has circulated virally.

It is not clear whether Jeff Apps created this spot entirely independently, or on behalf of Google. But in either case, the spot appears like consumer generated marketing, and has had significant exposure as such.

Editor's Note
Creative Showcase is meant to be a teaching tool and an inspiration for our readers. We comment only on creative that we really love. Our panelists discuss what makes it great, but if they feel there were missed opportunities that would have made it better, we invite them to mention those. And finally, we seek out a wide range of opinions that reflect the marketplace for the panel, in order to provide constructive, useable feedback for agencies, clients and others involved in these creative pieces.
The Panel
I love the ad that was put together for Google Maps because it works off the humor of the web, therefore it picks up virally and people forward this around to other users. It’s also very short and to the point, and we all know the attention span of the web user is only about 7-8 seconds. The beauty of user-generated content is in the production quality. Though much less expensive than the traditional model for creating an ad, it still packs the creative punch of any big budget effort.
-- Cory R Treffiletti, SVP, engagement architect, Carat Fusion

While strange, this consumer-generated clip for Google Maps is ever so cleverly relevant. And it rivals the production level of other guerilla video ads (like the outrageous series of non-sanctioned VW ads that spread across the web in recent years.) 

As video equipment gets cheaper and digital production software becomes easier to use, I think this trend will spread. But what will the brands think?

There are a lot of brands scrambling to control their public image as the means of media production descend into the waiting hands of common folk. Perhaps such brands should read today's Media Maze for advice on handling this transition. For the rest of us, keep an eye on your email inbox for the next video forward and enjoy the show!
-- Mario Sgambelluri, managing editor, iMedia Communications

Footnote: Submissions are judged by a panel of industry experts from and based on the following criteria: how the creative captures the specific customer; how it meets the brand's business needs; impact of execution; and creativity. If you would like your creative considered for Creative Showcase, send an email to