Is Google’s Nexus 7 Camping Ad Misleading?

Posted: July 24, 2012 in General
Tags: , , , , ,

One of the people I follow on Twitter, Hillel Fuld, and who’s opinion I generally respect posted a piece on his blog saying that he thinks the Nexus 7 ad showing a father and son camping is misleading.

He says that this ad is misleading because it shows some use of internet connectivity in nature while using a WiFi only tablet.  Needless to say this provoked a discussion of the issue and a close examination of the video.

The only place that I saw any actions that required connectivity was towards the end when they were using Google Earth.  At that point in the video you can also clearly see on the screen that the tablet is connected to WiFi.  The use of WiFi takes place within the tent which, if you watched to the end of the video you noted, is pitched in the backyard.  I don’t know about you but my WiFi signal is strong enough to reach me 15 meters (~50 feet) away from my house.  I know this because I have a reasonable signal in the parking lot of my building even farther away from my house than that.  What’s more, I can have a WiFi signal available to my tablet any time – I just need to turn on the hot spot that’s in my phone and I’m set.

I think Google went to a lot of work to make a very nice, positive ad showing one way that you and your family could enjoy this tablet.  I don’t think that the ad is in any way misleading because on the one hand, the only use of connectivity takes place a distance from the house where it is reasonable to assume that WiFi would be available and, on the other, someone with a Nexus 7 will also likely have a phone that has hot spotting available as an option.

What do you think, misleading or not?

  1. Mark says:

    Techies like me are such nitpickers. The first time I started watching the ad (yesterday morning), I thought to myself “hey wait a sec, it’s WiFi only, so how are they doing all that!”, but then when I reached the end of the ad, I thought to my self “How cute! They are playing on the concept of a father-son virtual camping trip (in the backyard).”

    Many ads do this, it’s a kind of dissonance, where the first part of the ad puts your mind in a place that may not be real or possible, and the ending resolves the issue in a cute or humorous way that makes you experience pleasure or chuckle, but either way makes it memorable. This ad accomplishes that pretty well for various people. Non-techies will say “how cute, and what a useful device”. Techies will say “Aha! They are in WiFi range from their nearby house, that’s how they did Google Earth”. Some techies might even zoom in to see the WiFi signal indicator on the display. Either way it’s memorable and people will talk about it (as we are doing since yesterday).

    As far as WiFi range, I don’t know about y’all, but when I turn my computer on and scan for WiFi, it finds 8 SSID’s, at least one of which is from a house 300 feet away from the computer. So, it isn’t at all farfetched for a wood-frame house to emit a good WiFi signal into the yard 30 feet away. Concrete houses with rebar and metallic mesh in the walls will result in a much weaker (or close to nonexistent) WiFi signal outdoors.

    I think it’s a very cute and effective advertisement.

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