Google never ceases to amaze us with their fun and often impactful doodlings and symbolic outreaches. Yesterday the web’s most dominant force changed their name in honor of a city most people could not locate with Google Maps – Topeka.
April Fools, or any other time of the year, Google is not too great to engage us with their own brand. In case Topeka, Kansas ever needed some notoriety, hundreds of millions had a chance to investigate them. If ever there were an exercise in the power of a brand, Google is it.
The story of “why” basically boils down to the mayor or Topeka, Bull Bunten, signing a proclamation to change the name of the city to Google during the month of March. In a reciprocal act of niceness Google decided to be “Topeka”, at least on April 1st.
Maybe if some place like Greece changed their name to Google, their PR and economic situation might improve? How about Ireland going to Google for some increased market value? Everyone in SEO wants to be on the front page of Google, what if Obama changed his name of the White House? Or maybe his wife’s name? The possibilities are endless if you think about it.
Whatever the causes, or how brief the fame Topeka garnered from Google’s good graces, these activities reveal a side to Google pretty much everyone loves – a sense of humor and fair play. I used to harp on how Google had to be evil, and I guess no one can really determine if they are ultimately. But, for sheer PR savvy, no one beats them. All hail Topeka!
The screen shot below from Topeka’s website shows just how serious Google is for people in Kansas. If nothing else, Google execs can click their heels if the going gets rough and still be home in Kansas.