After 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).