Several weeks ago, I read about Google’s newspaper ads for Chrome. I wasn’t sure what to make of it. It seemed a bit weird for Google to use offline media to advertise for a free online tool. Now, I’ve started to notice several print-banners in Germany. An example is shown below. The copy is simple and speaks to the layman – get Chrome for a faster online experience. Google gets full marks for adopting the “Apple approach.” Move away from the geek-speak (e.g. Chrome Comics from Fall 2008) to a simpler message of today (e.g. Chrome is fast.)
Why advertise for Chrome?If you look at Chrome’s market-share, it’s just reaching double digits (courtesy of statcounter.com). Considering how good of a browser Chrome is, this is a pretty low number. Google knows this and is investing more in marketing, including offline advertising.
Appealing the Internet Explorer crowdSince Chrome was launched in Fall 2008, Firefox market share in Germany has gone up from 48% to 61%. On the other hand, IE lost half of its market share from 42% to 21%. Google wants to benefit by encouraging the IE exodus. And why not try offline channels to lure these users? After all, casual web-surfers (typical IE user) may value print messages more than online ads.
Investing for Chrome OSPerhaps the new users are also good candidates for Chrome OS. It’s easier for a user to cross one chasm at a time. User switches from something else to Chrome browser. Then once comfortable, switches from Chrome browser to Chrome OS.
Fighting Facebook’s ubiquitous marketingHaving an offline presence gives Google (perceived as an internet company) a more tangible feel. A good-emotion when luring non-techies (e.g. typical IE users). Also, Google probably feels threatened by Facebook (since the social network partnered with Bing.) So now, Google may try hard to fight Facebook’s ubiquitous presence (e.g. third-party ads promoting Facebook fan pages.) What better way to start by doing various offline ads for Google products.
Originally posted 2011-01-12 02:35:48.