It will come as no surprise to learn that Google Apps are using Google Maps to help promote their 'Gone Google' campaign. The 'Gone Google' campaign is hoping to persuade businesses to switch to Google Apps by promoting and advertising the number of companies that have already made the switch.
As part of that campaign Google have produced a 'Gone Google' Google Map to show the location of businesses using Google Apps. You can use the map to 'explore ... who's Gone Google near you' and if your business uses Google Apps you can add it to the map.
The use of Google Maps to promote products is becoming more and more common and I guess Google have more right than most to use their own product as a promotion tool. The most effective Google Maps promotion campaigns however tend to be a bit more imaginative with their use of Google Maps.
Zappos received a lot of positive publicity last year for their real-time animated map of people making purchases from their on-line store. Last year also saw the awesome Monopoly City Streets Google Maps game. The game became the most played on-line game of the year and earned a huge amount of publicity for Hasbro for the launch of their new version of the board game.
Google's 'Gone Google' map does a fairly convincing job in conveying the message that a lot of businesses have successfully converted to Google Apps. However it has little of the imagination used in the Zappos and Hasbro campaigns.
So my conclusion on the 'Gone Google' campaign' would be 'nice effort but could try harder'.