It used to be common wisdom that Google never did consumer marketing. That’s changed over the past few years, with Google doing everything from billboards to radio ads to bus “wraps” to push particular Google products. Now it boldly goes into that final frontier, TV ads in the United States.
It’s a first for Google. The company has never directly advertised one of its products on television in the US, though they have been mentioned in conjunction with ads from Google partners, such as T-Mobile pushing its “G1 with Google” Android phone.
Now, Google’s using TV to promote its Chrome browser, as it has announced on its official Google Blog. The company won’t tell me how much it’s spending but stressed the amount is very small. Ads are being placed through Google’s own Google TV Ads network. That system allows advertisers to purchase remnant ad space on a variety of television networks.
Even a small buy might be reassuring to some of the traditional content owners who view Google as somehow sucking the advertising life out of their businesses. Google, which makes virtually all of its money off advertising still hardly seems to spend at all on traditional ads. A television buy might be taken as a sign by some that the Big G is looking to put back into the advertising ecosystem out of its own pocket.
Below is the ad that will be running — which, sorry to say, is pretty terrible to me. I mean, it’s cute — but if you don’t know Google Chrome is a browser, a replacement for Interent Explorer, I doubt most people will get that from this commercial.
For more, see related discussion on Techmeme.
Postscript: Adrian Palacios noted on Twitter that Google also has a large video ad now on the home page of the New York Times pushing Twitter: