Google is back this April 1 with a new product announcement, Google Gulp. This is a sign my blog is around a year old, as I recall one of my first rants was about Google’s Gmail PR fiasco last year. Some interesting notes from the Google Gulp FAQ that give some (humorous) hints about the company’s marketing/PR philosophy.
4. What if I don’t want to use Auto-Drink™?
No problem – simply turn off Auto-Drink™ on your Google Gulp preferences page.
5. Well, shouldn’t Auto-Drink™ be default-off?
You mean we should cripple a perfectly useful feature just because of a little bad PR?
7. How can I get my hands on a Google Gulp?
This “limited release” beta product is available to anyone who turns in a used Google Gulp bottle cap at any local retailer. If you don’t have any Gulp caps, ask a friend to give you one.
8. What if none of my friends have a Gulp cap to give me? Can’t you just give Google Gulp to anyone who wants it?
Well, we’re thinking about it, but, um, you have to understand that there are many considerations which go into deciding how to distribute —
9. I mean, isn’t this whole invite-only thing kind of bogus?
Dude, it’s like you’ve never even heard of viral marketing.
At least the company has a sense of humor about the controversies it causes.
UPDATE: Battelle, in a post very similar to mine (journalists think alike, I guess) says the company’s jokey privacy language weirds him out. I agree that it does sound a bit cavalier.
Also, people are saying Google Gulp “caps” are finding their way onto eBay. No time to check it out.