Google Hopes Basketball Will Make Its Cloud Computing More Relatable

New NCAA-Themed Ads Promote Google Cloud

By George Slefo. Published on Mar 13, 2018

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Google, which recently announced a multiyear sponsorship deal making it "The Official Cloud of the NCAA," has begun the first ad campaign for its cloud computing product with commercials in March Madness coverage.

Google Cloud already serves powerhouse companies such as Apple, Snapchat, Spotify and Coca-Cola, but it's hoping to expand by taking complex topics such as cloud computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence and make them relatable to a wider audience.

Questions such as "Do players dunk more if they have 50,000 followers?" and "Are math majors better at analyzing the court?" are featured in two 30-second spots created by San Francisco-based agency Eleven, says Alison Wagonfeld, VP of marketing at Google Cloud.

"We think it is important to demystify data analytics and machine learning," Wagonfeld says. "One of the best ways to demystify the complexity is to use examples that are relatable. And the NCAA has so many examples that are relatable."

The NCAA has a treasure trove of data that dates back several decades. But finding answers to simple questions like, "Are players shooting more three pointers today versus five years ago?" would require someone to individually look at some 20,000 games to find the answer. With Cloud, it would take minutes. (The answer: they do.)

"We want people from this campaign to think about all the data they have and ask questions, and know that Google Cloud can help them find answers," Wagonfeld says. "You can even think about it more broadly: 'What kind of data does my company have and If I had better data, would I be able to run my company more effectively?'"

Google Cloud will also use AI to create several additional 15-second spots at the start of the second half during the Final Four. The activation will specifically use Google technology and NCAA historically data to create real-time ads that attempt to answer questions such as whether the game might "come down to the wire."

Read more about the effort here.

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Mar 13, 2018
Google Cloud

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