5 Proven Marketing Strategies You Can Steal From Google

Have you seen the new Google Pixel 3 commercial? Yeah, I know there’s more than one.   Here’s the one I’m talking about –


I. Love. This. Commercial. I wouldn’t let my husband fast forward it. I’d seen it before and I  made him watch it.

It has monkeys, astronauts, and Will Smith. Who doesn’t love all of those things? (In West Philadelphia, born and raised…) In addition to those awesome things, Google uses great marketing.

Can you tell how much of a nerd I am? In true nerd style, I have to break this commercial down and figure out why I love it and why it does such a good job at marketing.

And you are in luck because it’s going to benefit you as a retailer.

So here are 5 strategies Google uses in this commercial that you can use to get nerds like me excited about your marketing and your products.

1. Use Humor to Break Down Walls and Stick in Memories

I’m going to list humor first because it applies to everyone. We all love to laugh. At least I think so. Unless you spray milk through your nose. But still. Laughing makes us feel better and helps us relax.   I mean how can you watch the clip with monkeys and not smile?


If you didn’t watch the video (above)  yet or can’t currently have your sound on, look at the picture and imagine the monkeys saying,

“Move your arm, we’re not gonna fit. We’re not gonna both fit. Just move your arm! Just move OVER!”

Honestly, it isn’t the same, but I thought I’d try it anyway.

Ok. So humor helps us relax.

As one Forbes article puts it:

Humor breaks down walls, shows personality a.k.a. shows a brand’s human side. ..What are some of the most memorable advertisements you’ve ever seen? I’d be willing to bet most of them stuck with you because they had some kind of humorous element.”

Not only does humor help us relax and connect, but it also sticks with us. Research done by Science Direct found the following:

“Humour has an additional benefit of having a positive effect on memory. Education and advertising are two fields in particular which have benefited from this association. In an otherwise serious lecture, for example, humorous examples are remembered better than non-humorous ones.”

In addition to breaking down walls and sticking in memories, humor is something we just can’t keep to ourselves. One Forbes article puts it this way,

“When we see something that makes us laugh, one of our first instincts is to share it with someone we know who will probably find it as funny as we did. Because of this, funny content has a higher potential to be shared than dry forms of content.”

Of course, there are always fine lines with humor.

While all marketing efforts should be done by a team and go under several sets of eyes, if you’re going to use humor, you definitely, absolutely need to get opinions on it.  We don’t all have the same sense of humor. It’s ok if not everyone finds it funny (though that would be good if they did), but you don’t want to cross over to offensive or leave people confused because they don’t get it.

Hopefully, I didn’t scare you off. You can do it! The benefits are great. When you use humor, you will break down walls, stick in memories, and spark others to share your stuff.

Grab your coworkers and some snacks and go start a brainstorming session. Once you have some ideas, bounce them off of people who weren’t in the room with you.

2. Appeal to a Sense of Adventure to Bring Excitement to Your Customers

Google uses the tactic of adventure appeal a couple of times in this commercial. One clip shows a couple jumping off a cliff, another shows a man at The Eiffel Tower, and another shows a group of friends at The Grand Canyon. There’s even one of an astronaut.




One definition of adventure appeal describes it as

“directed towards giving the impression that purchasing a product will change the individual’s life radically and fill it with fun, adventure, and action.” 

Some products easily lend themselves to this tactic – bikes, backpacks, outdoor gear in general obviously fit here. So if you own a bike shop, a scuba shop, or any other outdoor/adventure store, this is where you’ll want to focus.


What if your products don’t fit neatly in this kind of package? Well, sometimes it can still work anyway.  There have been many products that don’t naturally evoke a sense of adventure, but that can do such with some creativity. Many drink companies have decided to appeal to our need for adventure.


First, you’ll want to analyze what your target audience is so you can identify if this is a tactic that would work well for you.

Are you located in a great tourist spot?

Do you live near ski resorts, lakes, mountains, hiking trails, campgrounds,  etc?

If this is the case, you may want to get your crew together and brainstorm ways you can sell your products using adventure appeal. Here is a question you can ask yourself to get you started.

Do you sell things that can be taken on an adventure? Maybe things that aren’t usually on the packing list. Things like card games, simple crafts a family can take camping, toys that can be brought to the beach.   

If this feels like a good fit for you, awesome! Get started. (After you read the rest of the article, of course.)

If this tactic doesn’t fit your audience or your shop, don’t worry about it. There are plenty of other tactics you can use.


3. Appeal to Everyone… Specifically

Often times companies will advertise to a certain demographic. Clothing for women, toys for young children,  razors for men, etc. And some products are only relevant to certain demographics. But many are relevant to everyone. Google does a great job with this commercial because they cover everyone. What I love about this commercial is that it shows specific examples of real people. There are clips of children, families, young adults, individuals with more life experience, even monkeys. It is specific and general at the same time.



So here’s what you can do.

Do you have products or offer experiences for a variety of ages?

Can you find a way to show how your products can be used by everyone?

For example, if you sell instruments, use photographs or videos of musicians of all ages using those instruments. Don’t just show the stereotypical view.  

4. Appeals to the Human Need for Connection

A big part of why this commercial is so great is because it shows human connection. There are photos of friends, families, couples, and teams doing great things together.

This taps into our own need for human connection. It appeals to us emotionally and brings to mind our memories with friends, family, and loved ones.

In this specific situation, it causes us to remember photo-worthy times when we’ve struggled to get everyone in our selfie.




How can you appeal to the human need for connection?

Do you offer classes or experiences that people could take together? Encourage shoppers to take your classes with friends. Or even just to shop with friends.

Do you sell items that bring people together? Show how your product makes a great party better.

Do you offer products that would make great gifts? Let customers envision the joy they could give their loved ones with your great products.

Can you show photos of families or groups using and enjoying your products?

5. Show How Your Products Make Life Better

Google spends most of this commercial pointing out the problem – trying to fit everyone or everything you want to in your selfie.   By the time you get to the end of the commercial, you’ve seen a lot of failed attempts at capturing everyone and everything in the selfie. You are anxiously anticipating the solution. And thankfully, they show it to you. It makes me say, “YES!!”


So how can you make shoppers say “YES!” to your products?

First, you need to identify what problem you’re solving.

Are you offering safety from boredom with classes, toys, adventures, crafts, hobbies or something else?

Do you help customers who want to find great gifts but have run out of ideas?

Do you sell gear that protects adventurers from danger? Or from being up a creek without a paddle? (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Once you identify the problem you solve, you need to identify the benefits of your products (not the features!) and then show your customers how those benefits will make their lives easier, more adventurous, less stressful, happier, etc.

Where to Use These Strategies

Now, I know you will most likely not hire Will Smith. Or Astronauts. You will most likely not even make a commercial at all. But you can use the same strategies Google used. You can use them in your …

  • Email marketing
  • Website – perhaps large photos on your homepage
  • Social Media posts – Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
  • Online ads on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, retargeting ads, etc.
  • Videos – Youtube, Facebook, Instagram Vibes, etc.
  • Print marketing – Direct mail, flyers, print ads

You’ll have to decide where your advertising bucks are best spent. But once you do, you can take these tactics when deciding what that ad will look like.

Make Your Own Impact

I want to give you numbers on how this commercial affected sales, but that’s not easily measured.

Sales don’t depend solely on a single marketing effort. That being said, I think this commercial will definitely have a positive impact.

So now it’s time to make your own impact.  

Which of these tactics will help your business stand out?

What will speak to your audience and convince them to say “YES!” to what you’re offering?


Do you need to step up your marketing but don’t have the time? We can help with that. Check out our tools that automatically send texts, ask for reviews, distribute coupons and more.

Also published on Medium.

Holly Wade is a lover of words and marketing. She can’t read great writing without smiling, and she can’t watch a commercial without analyzing its success as marketing content. She gets a little carried away every time she goes to the library, and she always sides with using the Oxford comma. She loves writing articles that help small retail businesses find success.