NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Even Google is seeing the limits of search ads and YouTube. The search giant is placing its first TV ad -- to promote its new web browser Chrome
The ads will go out across the Google TV Ads system, meaning on cable systems and networks that allow Google to sell some of their inventory, such as Echostar's Dish Network and NBC Universal cable networks like CNBC, Sleuth and Chiller.
While Google has never run TV ads, other brands have featured the search giant in their own spots. For example, in 2006 Pontiac ran a TV commercial for its G6 sedan that showed the Google home page with the familiar search box containing the word "Pontiac" and a voice-over saying, "Don't take our word for it, Google 'Pontiac' to find out." Google is also mentioned spots for T-Mobile's Android phone, the G1.
Unlike many advertisers, for whom running a TV ad campaign generally signals a major push, this is a relatively low-risk venture for Google: It has easy access to Google TV Ads and inventory is generally inexpensive, plus Google already had the creative in the can. The company is playing down the move, as a spokeswoman referred to it as a "small experiment."
Google started a marketing campaign for Chrome last month in which it commissioned 11 videos from small creative firms that were initially posted and promoted on YouTube. Recently, Google started placing those videos on websites through ad buys, including an expandable ad on the front page of the New York Times' website.
The videos, which were made for about $10,000 each, have accumulated thousands of views so far on Google-owned YouTube, including You and Your Browser, which has accumulated 112,000 views.
The ad that will appear on TV was posted on YouTube in January and has 2.1 million views.
It's the next step in a campaign launched last month for Chrome, Google's entrant in the Safari-Explorer-Firefox derby, which it released last fall but has so far not captured much market share. Chrome has captured 1.42% of the browser market, ahead of Netscape, but behind Apple's Safari (8.21%), Mozilla's Firefox (22.48%) and Microsoft's Explorer (66.1%), according to Net Applications.