Last week, Google brought browser wars into your living room with Chrome TV ads. The first-ever TV commercial from the search giant may be designed to raise awareness of the browser but it also puts Microsoft’s multi-million dollar ad blitz to shame.


This is the first time ever that Google is airing TV ads. According to the Wall Street Journal, the search giant planned to launch their first TV ad campaign during last summer’s Olympics, but it was halted at the last moment by Google’s co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Google’s Chrome TV campaign premiered with an ad based on a short video produced by the Google Japan team two months ago. Since then, the video has been viewed over two million times.

True to its online heritage, the Google leveraged some of the results from placement-targeted ads on the Google Content Network in order to better track the impact of these ads on target audience. “For those of us who live and work on the web, the browser is an unsung hero,” Google said “It’s become the most important piece of software on our computer, but rarely is it given proper recognition…”

You may have seen this cool video on the web before: It shows sand-boxed wooden objects and Chrome logo that ping-pongs between them, slowly revealing the browser’s user interface. A simple “Install Google Chrome” message fades in at the end of the ad. Riding on tails of this ice-breaker ad, Google has produced Chrome Shorts, basically a series of eleven short films about Chrome that appeared last week on the Chrome YouTube channel.

One of them, dubbed “Defenders in Tights,” shows monochromatically-dressed people who build a wooden browser interface that ultimately serves as defense “all kinds of technological mischief.” According to the company spokesman, these short clips won’t be used in the Chrome TV campaign.

The videos follow the same easy to grasp narrative of the Chrome TV ad that delivers the message without diving into computer technicalities. Christoph Niemann , artist and illustrator who created one of short films, said the following: “Instead of thinking of what I wanted to show, I tried to think about what I did NOT want to show. I realized that when I use a computer or browse the web these days, the one thing I do NOT think about is… a computer.” Niemann said he wanted to find “a simple metaphor that explains what a browser does, without showing a screen, a keyboard, the letters WWW, pixels, zeroes or ones.”

According to the latest NetApplications web usage survey, Chrome still hovers above the 1 percentage web usage share and trails behind Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer that hold most of the browser market share. According to NetApplications, Chrome  recently zoomed past Opera which has been positioned as the #4 browser so far.

Read more about 11 short videos about a browser and Chrome ads on TV.

Google Chrome TV ad
No video? Watch it on YouTube!

Published On: May 12th, 2009 / Categories: MICROSOFT / Tags: , , , /