Google is making its first foray into that most traditional of media, TV, airing a 30-second spot this weekend to promote its Internet browser known as Chrome.
The commercial shows a toy version of the Google Chrome logo bouncing around a box of wooden blocks of various shapes and sizes. It knocks them out until, ultimately, it forms a toy Chrome browser. The spot closes with the call to action: "Install Google Chrome."
Created in-house by Google Japan, the ad was chosen from a series of Chrome promotional videos the search giant posted to YouTube. Since it was uploaded in late January, the Google Japan-created video has been viewed more than 2 million times.
The company chose which of the clips to air on TV after gauging their popularity on YouTube, said Google communications director Ellen West. "We were looking for ways to increase awareness about browsers and Chrome," she said.
Google is using its TV ad platform to run the spots. It will assess responses -- the company tracks when users click away from commercials -- and then make decisions about running further flights, West said. She declined to specify what programming Google is targeting. The commercials will run in the U.S. only and not on networks unaffiliated with Google TV.
The initiative underscores the importance Google places on Chrome, introduced last September to battle the dominance of Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser. Upstart browsers Firefox, Safari and Opera have carved into the dominance of IE in recent years. Microsoft, however, still leads the market with a 66 percent share, according to NetApplications. In comparison, Chrome came in with just 1.4 percent share.
Google has mostly relied on word of mouth and some limited promotions rather than traditional marketing efforts. The company has marketed indirectly on TV, with its products appearing for instance in Pontiac and Apple commercials.