Offline Google Advertising

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.

google print commercial in germany

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 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.

we browser market share in the united states and germany for 2010

Appealing the Internet Explorer crowd

Since 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 OS

Perhaps 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 marketing

Having 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.

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Zaki Usman

Hello, I'm the founder and CEO at ShoutEx. I like to blog about marketing, mobile and web topics. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Comments (3)

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    Google made some mistakes last year too… especially with Buzz. There’s so much advertising about it and mounted to nothing. I can’t help be skeptical about the hype with Chrome O/S. Maybe its nothing more than just a buzz too!


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    That is a interesting advert! I have not noticed Google’s browse ads on paper or print, but I have seen them online. Also I see Google Adwords ads in other channels too. I will have to keep an eye out on how Google is advertising in 2011.


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    Zaki Usman


    Yes, Google is trying very hard to be ubiquitous in its approach. Just today, Google announced plans to go into the social-buying space with Google Offers. Now you can see a lot more print/offline advertising for that service too! Expect to see more of Google for the year 2011!


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