June 6, 2009

Is Tetris Sponsoring Google’s Search Today?

Filed under: Marketing Philosophy, Media Origination — Robert John Ed @ 4:28 pm

I was looking at Bing and thinking about why it won’t work, and by work I mean dethrone the king, then did a quick switch switch over to Google and saw that the logo was altered to a Tetris style logo.  Google often does this for significant events.  Here is a timeline.  It’s actually kind of cool as they show support for a lot of things that warrant mention and attention.

This Tetris thing disturbs me a little bit though. If you scroll over the logo, it says “Celebrating 25 Years of the Tetris Effect, Courtesy of Tetris Holdings LLC.”  OK?  Apparently the Tetris Effect is when every day life is consumed by Tetris.  Hate to tell you guys (and by “you guys”, I have no clue who I’m speaking to), but the Tetris effect is just a brand attached to something that has been around for a ridiculously long time, memorization patterns. Most prominently displayed in chess memorization and pattern recognition, which in my humble opinion (who are we kidding my opinion is seldom humble), is far more intricate and difficult than lumping pieces of tangible matter together to form a semblance of a whole.


A lot of people are leaning toward conversations being sponsored.  They think this is where marketing is going, and maybe their right.  Society is already very cynical of our convoluted ways with inserting promotion into philanthropy.  Who can blame them.  When every handshake is followed by a sales pitch, life becomes less real.  But money makes the world go round (or is it wrong?) so it isn’t going away.  It’s just going to change.

So Google getting “sponsored” by Tetris for search is somewhat of an issue.  This isn’t necessarily what has happened, somebody at Google may just like Tetris a lot, but the concept matters.  A lot of people may say that PPC and Adwords/Adsense are already sponsored search.  That’s true, but when you take a formerly pristine engagement tactic and turn it into a charlatan hussy to be pandered to anyone with adequate coin, we all lose.  Sponsored anything is fine when there is disclosure.  Maybe the “hover over” message sets the precedent, maybe I’m making something out of nothing as it’s just something people at GOOG are passionate about.  I asked the cloud if anyone has the scoop on potential sponsorship and we’ll see what comes of it.


UPDATE:  I emailed Google about it, we’ll see what they say on Monday, or whenever they get around to responding to me.



  1. I always like the rotation in specialized logos Google puts out. It has made me aware of things I never knew existed. Maybe the design is courtesy of Tetris, and the thus the credit for it.

    I see nothing wrong with Google selling this space, it’s their business to make money. I don’t think morphing your logo/brand for a buck if you can does anything to your credibility. I actually marvel that a company can be in the position to do that. Can you imagine Home Depot’s logo adding the Golden Arches for a week to sponsor the Ga-zillionth cheesebuger served?

    Every piece of news and media we consume has some influence (monetary, agenda, position) tied to it. Good post.

    Comment by Aaron — June 6, 2009 @ 4:43 pm

  2. Thanks for stopping by Aaron.

    It’s and interesting dynamic for sure, but I do think that disclosure is warranted in this one. I actually think that this isn’t sponsored, just a hobbyists baby, but Google’s mantra to “not be evil” could be compromised in the long run. Not everything should be for sale. Maybe this can be? But if this is the White Pages, treat it as such. It was the White Pages in the past, it probably still is. The yellow pages are there for the taking.

    Bottom line, I think having their logo up for sale would be a really bad move in terms of brand value, long term Google comes off as a shill that way. My hope is that this isn’t such a case.

    Comment by Robert John Ed — June 6, 2009 @ 5:09 pm

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