USA Today has announced the winner of $1 million in free advertising in its contest to encourage creativity in print advertising: Google.
It’s hard to know why USA Today would’ve allowed Google to enter in the first place. Google has done more than anyone to destroy print media by outright stealing its revenue over the past 10 years, acting as little more than an electronic middle man that skims profits.
Moreover, it’s a smug, irritating move for Google to enter the contest at all — and they won it with a smug, self-congratulatory ad for Google Plus:
The winning ad, which ran in October, was simple. It reprinted a paragraph from a newspaper article reporting that the Dalai Lama had “scrapped plans” to attend the 80th birthday celebration of a fellow Nobel laureate, Desmond M. Tutu of South Africa, because his visa request was not granted.
The ad updated the article by crossing out words like “scrapped plans” and replacing them with “joined” and “via Hangout.”
Hey, the Dali Lama goes digital, how hip. What was the average age of the judges, about 75?
The two runner ups were Save the Children and an ad for a new toy, Nanoblock.
Larry Kramer, president and publisher at USA Today said “I was upset that agencies weren’t doing enough print creative and putting their best and brightest people on digital platforms…I’m worried the skill set is atrophying and wanted to do something to remind the world that print creative matters.”
Congratulations. He’s just proven that all your corporation has to do is loot the print world and strip it of its ability to hire competitive staff, and you, too, can come out on top.