by Warrick Sears

Have you seen Google Maps today? For one day only (April 1) you can play Pacman in your own town, on your own street! As a child of the 80s I love this.

A lot of people think of Google in terms of an online behemoth seeking to control the online ecosystem. It’s hard not to when you look at their vast ownership of all things net. This has the effect of making some of us suspicious of the company and others down right hate them.

BUT one thing Google do well is digital engagement pieces that make us like them. The changes to the search image for special occasions, turning the search image into an interactive piece you can play with or the yearly release of the best of Google Street View images. And always an April Fool’s gag. All these things make us smile and like Google just a little bit more than we want to.

There is no hard sell here, but there is an experience that makes you want to tell and share with your friends – like I’m doing with you right now. And I can guarantee you that your opening sentence will be something along the lines of, “Hey, have you seen that cool Google…”

It gets you spruiking the company’s wares and being a brand ambassador, unwittingly or otherwise. Good digital makes you the media and this is what Google does brilliantly.

Now if we can just get Pacman made a permanent feature.

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It’s hard to hate Google on April Fool’s Day