As I was looking up ads, I came across this interesting Google advertisement that was aimed for Japanese consumers. The ad is called “Fashion show with Google.” This ad caught my attention because it retained numerous interesting functions. And in this blog post, I want to write about different functions of an ad through this advertisement by Google. There are are largely seven different functions of advertisements as discussed in class: 1) Information given out to consumers 2) Fitting Goods into our lifestyle 3) Pre-shopping research for consumers 4) Humanization of corporations 5) Presents new Social Values 6) Formation of imagined communities (ex: creating an invisible connection with other consumers that are purchasing or utilizing the same product) 7) Democratization of luxury. And “Fashion show Google” retains all seven functions.

First of all, the ad does not present the consumers with basic information such as ‘What is Google?’ or ‘How do we use Google?’ because Google, being one of the largest search engines, already assumes that their users are already familiar with how to get to Google website and what we use Google for. This is also a very interesting factor because it indirectly depicts our current “Information Generation” that lives in an “Internet-surrounded” environment. Google gives its consumers information on how we can employ Google in a different way rather than merely typing in words to gather information.

With the help of Google, we can host a “fashion show” in our own homes.

Google itself would not be called a luxury good that brews envy and desire in people; however, the concept of “fashion show” maybe different. When we imagine what a “fashion show” is like, we picture beautiful, glamorous models walking in and out with the new Chanel or Marc Jacobs spring collection across the runway. And Google is telling its users that they don’t necessarily have to be those skinny models or own a Louis Vuitton bag to host a fashion show. Democratization of Fashion Show! With the help of Google, fashion shows can be held in your apartment. And this Google ad can also be a free advertising for some “fashion” brands because Google-users, who are trying to have a fashion show in their rooms, are going to search for clothes and bags on Google, and this physical clicking is “Pre-Shopping research.” This research may not necessarily for Google (because we would not Google, “Google”) but we are searching for consumer goods via Google.

This “democratization of fashion shows” assign both new social values and reinstate old values to the brand. People generally conceive web-surfing as an individualistic activity. All you need is a computer, an Internet router, and yourself. However, this ad suggests that web-surfing can be a group activity involving your friends and family. Furthermore, this introduction of new concept and role of Google being a group and social activity may function as “Humanization of Corporation.” Some web-users criticize search engines like Google that they are secretly collecting our information or we can literally search anything on Google that are sometimes detrimental to our lives such as ‘How to commit a suicide painlessly?’ Nonetheless, the ad, by proposing another “benefit” of Google, which is that it can be fun group activity, may create “humanizing” effect of Google, inc. In this ad, you see bunch of girls that looks like they could be friends having fun in a very casual setting. Interestingly, however, the ad also restores some old values of Internet–“You can be “anyone” online.” The models in the ad, having a fashion show, changes their outfit multiple times: cheerleader outfit, Kimono, cat, masquerade, etc. The Internet, specifically Google, not only allows you to be anyone online but also gives you new outfits in real life so you can be a different person in reality. And this can be another ad function, “Fitting goods into lifestyle.” Being participants of Information Era, we are exposed to the Internet daily. And almost every Internet-user realize that they can have a different identity in online-world. However, we can utilize the Internet to host a live fashion show in our rooms and during that fashion show we are allowed to tweak our identities a little by wearing different clothes and accessories.

The primary target audience of this ad are Japanese people. The entire ad is ran in Japanese and perhaps without the Google logo at the end of the ad, some non-Japanese audiences may have not recognized that it is an ad by Google. However, although the ad is produced for mainly Japanese audiences, foreign audiences can comprehend the plot and what the ad is trying to deliver and pitch to its audience since “fashion show” is not distinctively “Japanese” culture. This reciprocation and comprehension by both Japanese viewers and other viewers create an invisible global connection between them–“Formation of imagined communities.” It is a pretty smart move of Google that this community further strengthen the brand as one of the largest and most global Internet search engine.