Steer your way to Google.com and you’ll find yourself staring at perhaps its boldest Doodle yet. No, Google hasn’t outdone itself with another musical tribute or interactive game — it’s running an ad directing users to try out Google+. But this isn’t just your average text ad or banner: Google’s drawing a big, blue arrow that points toward your Google+ name on the left side of its top nav bar. Click it, and you’ll launch into the Google+ homepage and signup process.
You can’t miss it.
The ad coincides with today’s public launch to Google+, which now allows anyone to sign up for the service (up until now you’ve needed an invite). And it’s sure to drive a major surge in new signups.
Granted, this isn’t the first time Google has run ads on its homepage to promote its own products: for example, it’s previously run ads for its Nexus phones, and it recently ran text ads promoting Google Offers to users in some areas. But as far as I can remember, all of these ads have been subtle — some text and maybe a small graphic centered beneath the search bar.
But this blue arrow is much harder to miss (note that the arrow actually moves a bit, as it’s ‘drawn’ when you first land on the page). If nothing else, it’s another reminder of just how serious Google is about helping Google+ succeed, and it shows that it’s willing to leverage its biggest assets to achieve that mission.