Google Chrome Ads Go From YouTube To Your Tube; Search Giant’s First-Ever Spots Run This Weekend

imageAfter backing out of a planned TV ad campaign during the Olympics last summer, the normally TV-shy Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is ready to go primetime to promote its Chrome web browser, the company said in a blog post. The ads will start running on “various networks” this weekend. A Google rep confirmed an AdAge report that this will be the first time the search giant has run a TV ad. (See ad after the jump)

Comparatively limited: Google being Google, this is not a traditional media buy, as the ads will be distributed only through the Google TV Ads platform. Google TV Ads has deals with just one pay TV provider, EchoStar (NSDQ: SATS) and a smaller California cable company. And while Bloomberg TV and NBCU’s cable networks also farm out a portion of their inventory to Google TV Ads, the spots won’t reach anyone else. Since exiting beta last summer with its self-serve, targeted ads to pay TV networks and marketers, Google TV Ads has made only a few high-profile deals. It’s tempting to read this use of the system not just to promote the Chrome browser, but also to promote its ad targeting system. More after the jump.

Promoting Chrome: As for generating buzz for Chrome, our Tameke Kee cited an AdAge report last month that Google created a Chrome Shorts page on YouTube with 11 videos that were estimated to cost less than $10,000 each.

This is a browser war?: Google launched the Chrome browser in September to a great deal of hype — but it still hasn’t paid off. According to Net Applications’ Market Share, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer remains dominant with 66 percent of the market; Mozilla’s Firefox is a distant second with a 22 percent share, followed by Apple’s Safari, with 8.21 percent. But at least Google’s not at the very bottom of the rankings: Chrome’s 1.42 percent share is well ahead of Netscape (.82 percent), Opera (.68 percent) and “other” (.22 percent).

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