Google has started marketing their browser, Chrome, quite vehemently now. Ads for Chrome are showing up on a variety of media in the UK.
Chrome, which was launched just over a year ago, certainly does not compete in terms of popularity with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Mozilla’s Firefox, both of which have been around a lot longer.
It looks as though Google has decided to take up the challenge to change the situation, and has started actively promoting the browser through some rather unexpected channels in the UK.
Just yesterday, the Metro newspaper, which is distributed for free on the London Underground was “wrapped” in a cover that advertised Chrome.
On the front page of the wrapper, Chrome was described as “A fast new browser. Made for everyone”. On the inside of the cover details about the browser’s unique features, such as its stability and the incognito tab handling methods, were mentioned. On the rear page of the wrapper were ‘notes’ made by a supposed user of Chrome, followed by the line “6 tabs. 0 crashes. 1 browser”.
The Metro is distributed free on all weekdays and readers generally read it during their morning commute. It has a circulation of 1.3 million of which 738,000 users are based in London.
Twitter users have also reported spotting billboards advertising Chrome in London and Manchester. In fact, one such hoarding was placed right across the front gate of the head quarters of Google’s recent critic, Rupert Murdoch’s company, News International.
Magazines, television and blogs are also propagating another Google campaign, promoting Chrome as a free Christmas gift accompanied by a slick flash micro-site that “wraps” the Chrome logo and sends it as a gift with a personalised message to anyone a user wishes to forward it to.
These advertising strategies point to the fact that Google is either trying to advertise Chrome to people who are not yet hooked on the Internet, or they’re running out of ideas to boost Chrome’s popularity.
A number of marketing specialists have criticised the campaign, saying that Google should know better than to target advertising for a product in a medium where prospective adopters cannot convert into users easily. In other words, people reading a newspaper or seeing a billboard will not be likely to go online and download the Chrome browser. However, what the ads will do, is build brand presence in consumers’ minds, which might then help Google when they launch the Chrome operating system.