Can You Make a Verb?

Have you ever thought or said to someone to just Google It? I’ve heard this phrase quite a bit, I’ve seen the phrase throughout the years, and even 4  year old children know about it.

How did this phrase come about? Did Google launch a major campaign and marketing effort to change the minds of someone saying they are going to ‘search’ to ‘google’? Did they run banner ads, print campaigns, commercials on TV and in movie theaters? Did they try to capture the youth market with hip ads and young adults putting their search engine to use while on a mountain snowboarding and drinking RedBull?

Ah no… the term came to be because of utility–because it was highly effective and a product that stood out amongst all the others. So “just google it” became synonymous with search.

Yellowbook It… Yeah

So you think of eating out, a plumber or another local service do you think just “YellowBook It”? I bring this up because I’ve seen over the last year or so the “Just YellowBook It” campaign from YellowBook. I think this campaign has it completely backwards. I’m not saying Yellowbook isn’t useful–the few times I’ve used it I’ve found what I am looking for.

I was sitting in a movie theater the other day waiting for a movie to start and a YellowBook commercial came up. A group of younger adults in front of me made a couple wise comments after the ad that obviously was targeted to them. One of them said something to the effect “Why would I Yellow Book it when I can Google It?”

The Power of PR

It will be interesting to see if they can create some type of groundswell for this new “YellowBook” verb. I’m not arguing against the power of PR after all Edward Bernays in order to promote sales of bacon, for example, he conducted a survey of physicians and reported their recommendation that people eat heavy breakfasts. He sent the results of the survey to 5,000 physicians, along with publicity touting bacon and eggs as a heavy breakfast. Some argue this is the main reason why we eat a large breakfast compared to days before Mr. Bernays did his fir push for the swine industry.