Unless I’m mistaken, this is the first time Google has used a modern commercial entity as part of their search engine ‘doodle’. I remember when they did a doodle for Popeye, but that was a 115th birthday celebration of the original cartoonist who created Popeye. Scooby-Doo, the original TV cartoon is currently owned by Cartoon Network, which presumeably would have to have given permission for its use. I have to wonder if Google got paid to do this one. The show has full-time ‘Halloweenish’ atmosphere, and CN acquired it last April. I can’t see them missing the opportunity to ‘punch up’ their new acquisition on October 31.
I enjoyed these original Hanna-Barbera characters as a child. When they introduced the evil talking baby dog (Scrappy Doo), I gave up on the Scoob. With Cartoon Network acquiring the property, the original characters have been streamlined — Disnified. Velma got sexier and Daphne got smarter. Shaggy is no longer a complete coward. Fred is still Fred, but his eyes are closer together — perhaps an attempt at making him seem less ‘perfect’. Scoob is once again Scoob. I’d watch this show, If I actually got CN.
With a recently-acquired commercial property introduced into a doodle, I can only augur a disturbing trend. What’s next? Are we going to start seeing blatant advertisements for iPods and icecream in the place of the Google doodle? Is innocence lost? For an entire day, Google’s search engine logo was obfuscated by Cartoon Network’s ‘Scooby-Doo’. I have to believe CN paid for the ad. And yet, I have trouble believing Google would allow paid adertisement to obfuscate their logo for any period of time, due to their motto of ‘Don’t be evil‘. But there it was – Scooby-Doo on the Google doodle. If they didn’t get paid, CN got a whole day’s worth of free advertisement courtesy of Google over millions of search queries, and I can’t see Google just letting that happen. They’re in the ad business. Hence, Google had to have been paid for this venture. It’s as if McDonald’s allowed Coke to put it’s logo in place of McDonald’s logos for a whole day. McDonalds would make Coke pay.
Google — be honest — did you get paid to do this? Don’t be evil, now…