Google to run first TV spot

Chrome browser spot created by Google Japan

Google is taking its first foray into that most traditional of media, TV, airing a 30-second spot this weekend to promote its Internet browser, Chrome.

The commercial shows a toy version of the Google Chrome logo bouncing around a box of wood blocks of various shapes and sizes, knocking them out until it forms a toy Chrome browser. The spot closes with the call to action, "Install Google Chrome."

The spot, created in-house by Google in Japan, was chosen from a series of Chrome promotional videos Google posted to YouTube. Since it was uploaded in late January, the Google Japan-created video has been viewed 2 million times. (

Google chose to air the spot after seeing its 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, which will begin appearing this weekend. It will see assess the response to the ads -- Google TV tracks when users click away from commercials -- and decide about running further flights, West said. She declined to give specifics of what programming Google is targeting. The commercial will run in the U.S. only and not on networks unaffiliated with Google TV.

The spot exemplifies the importance Google places on Chrome, introduced last September to battle the dominance of Microsoft in the browser market with Internet Explorer. Upstart browsers Firefox, Safari and Opera have carved into the dominance of Internet Explorer in recent years. Microsoft, however, still dominates the market with 66% share, according to NetApplications. In comparison, Chrome came in with just 1.4% share.

Google has mostly relied on word of mouth and promoting its products from each other rather than traditional marketing efforts. The company has marketed indirectly on TV, with its products appearing for instance in Pontiac and Apple commercials.