Google continues to promote the "Ultimate Search for Bourne" competition in the US and other countries by displaying a blue box labeled "Google Promotion". When the promotional box was first added, Google didn't label it at all. Google also mentioned it's not an ad: "The Bourne Ultimatum promotion is not an ad, but one of the many tests we run to provide users with opportunities to access Google products."
The competition is a partnership between Google and Universal Pictures to promote Bourne Ultimatum using Google's products.
According to Los Angeles Times, it was Google that had the idea to promote the movie. "[Douglas] Merrill said that Universal, the studio behind the Bourne movies, didn't hire Google to do this. Instead, the promotion was Google's initiative. Why? Because the basic Google business model is monetizing searches and other online activities, so the more things people have to find and do online, the more money Google can make."
Using this logic, you could argue that Google should start to promote all kinds of sites just to keep users online for a longer time. But I thought Google's aim was to send people away as fast as possible to the right destination.
"The win for Google is more content gets created, and we believe the tools we build offer easy ways to do that. Ultimately our goal is to have everyone who has content build cool interactive tools to engage their users. We don't want to be in the middle. We want to build the tools to allow content owners and creators to do it themselves," said Google's Douglas Merrill.
So this is not a promotion for "Bourne Ultimatum", it's just a sample of what you can do using Google tools. It's an ad for Google's tools disguised as a catchy competition. The blue box is just a link to an entry from the virtual gallery of sites that use Google tools to "build cool interactive tools to engage their users".
"With Google tools at your fingertips, you're well equipped for the mission," says the blue box. The message here is that Google's tools are powerful and you could use them to present your own content. And if a lot of sites use Google services, Google can continue sending people away: they'll continue to be connected to The Platform.
9 hours ago