Looking to capitalize on their growing momentum as a fledgling social network, Google+ has released a series of new commercials, one of which features NBA commentators Bill Walton, Jon Barry, Steve Kerr, Spero Dedes, and Kenny Smith. The video depicts the five of them using Google+'s hangout feature to breakdown a YouTube video of a backyard one on one game during the NBA lockout.
I love the 60-second spot from Google for several reasons:
* The commercial demonstrates the power and ease of use of Google+ hangouts, the feature most are touting as Google's biggest competitive advantage over Facebook. Hangouts allow up to 10 friends to video chat seamlessly in one place; even brand pages can host hangouts.
* The commercial cross-sells Google's YouTube video service. The Google+ integration with YouTube will drive video views, and thus, incremental advertising revenue for Google.
* The timing is great with the NBA returning in full force on Christmas Day. The condensed schedule, which requires cramming 66 games into a four month season, will mean that the NBA will constantly be on during that span.
I also love the NBA - Google relationship. The NBA has always been at the forefront of social media use among North American sports leagues. We noted earlier this month that the NBA is the only North American league with a team in the top five among Facebook fans. It is good to see the NBA getting out in front with the newest social network contender, as it is obvious that Google+ is investing in this product for the long-term. With 1,695 current Google+ followers, the NBA has a long way to go if it wants to catch up with their 10,910,745 Facebook fans, but this video should help give them the early lead among sports leagues on Google+.
Check out the video and meet me over at Google+....