Google Turns to BBH to Polish Chrome Ads

Campaign for Web Browser Is Heavy on Online Video, with Focus on Overseas Markets

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NEW YORK ( -- Google is back to marketing its Chrome web browser as it tries to steal share from the likes of Internet Explorer and Firefox. But rather than rely on itself to get the word out, it instead called in ad agencies Bartle Bogle Hegarty and Glue, London, for the effort.

The search giant unveiled Chrome last fall, and its last big marketing push for it came in the form of Google's first TV ad. The new campaign marks a return to the viral-video approach it initially used to promote the system, when it posted a series of commercials earlier this year to Google-owned video site YouTube that were estimated to cost only $10,000 a pop.

In the past week, a series of short, clever videos that were initially posted to Google Chrome U.K.'s YouTube channel have made their way around the net. Each spot promotes different features of Chrome, such as speed, stability, security and customizable themes. Of course, the placement of the online commercials comes at attractive cost -- free -- as Google owns YouTube, but it's notable that Google for the first time turned to ad shops to help get the word out about the browser.

Google invited a range of agencies for pitch a few months ago, with a brief that aimed to talk about Chrome in an educational way and, interestingly, with a focus on markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (that suggests that in addition to these videos, more traditional forms of marketing executions could be under way in those regions). At the end of that process, Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle and Glue were both tapped to work on the assignment together.

Bartle Bogle's New York and London offices worked with Glue and production company 1st Ave Machine to create the videos.

Bartle Bogle has worked with Google before; in 2005, the agency was tapped to help get the word out about Google Earth and Google Maps in Europe.

The videos have a decidely low-fi feel -- think hand-crocheted props, drying ice with a hair dryer -- that, for one of the most high-tech companies in the world, is an unexpected juxtaposition. The effort also gives a warm, homey feel to a company known for its data-driven culture.

The release of the online commercials was timed with the global launch of a beta version of Chrome for Mac.

To see the work that went into the campaign, check out the behind-the-scenes footage posted below, which shows the creative team's fanatical attention to detail, and talks about a decision in the 11th hour to trade recorded music for an on-set harpist.

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