Why Google Made Commercials for a Fake Food Brand

The impact of “fake news” on social media has been a hot topic recently; meanwhile, Google and YouTube have been dabbling in a slightly different kind of endeavor: fake advertisements. In fact, Google created a whole fake food brand and ran over 33 fake commercials on YouTube, racking up 20 million impressions—all as an experiment to learn more about how advertisements work.

If you’ve found yourself craving food from “Doctor Fork” after watching YouTube, bad news: the brand doesn’t exist. Instead the fake ads—some for pizza, some for cheesecake (which actually sounds like a great idea for a restaurant)—were created by Google’s Unskippable Labs, along with Nestle and BYU professor Ryan Elder, to determine the effect of sensory cues and human presence on ad effectiveness.

Speaking with TechCrunch, Ben Jones, the creative director for Unskippable Labs, gave an example of the old rule that a commercial should never show someone chewing food and looking at the camera. “Maybe I can’t look directly at the camera, but Doctor Fork can do whatever he wants,” Jones explained. “Let’s use the freedom of the unbranded ad to be wrong, to push in directions and ask questions that a brand will not, because a brand has a complex brief and very focused set of objectives.”

Read & see more at Food & Wine: https://www.foodandwine.com/news/google-doctor-fork-pizza-cheesecake-ads