In an unprecedented move Google final succumbed to advertising on television, a medium it has pointedly ignored for years, to promote its search engine.
It did it in style though, choosing the third quarter ad break during the Superbowl to run its 'Parisian Love' ad, costing the company a cool $5 million (£3.2m) in the process.
The advert showed off a raft of Google's search functions including maps, flight tracking, spelling correction, dictionary definitions, and its newest development, translation, as part of a search-enabled love story, all wrapped up in 53 seconds.
The move suggests Google may be feeling the heat from Mircosoft's Bing search engine. The rival search site has had no such qualms about advertising on TV, after it ran a large campaign last year to promote the launch of the search site. At the time Eric Schmidt criticised the move, telling Fox News: "You don't earn market position with ads, you earn it search for search, answer by answer."
Schmidt was less critical of his own company's decision to screen an ad though, writing on his Twitter page: "Can't wait to watch the Superbowl tomorrow. Be sure to watch the ads in the 3rd quarter (someone said 'Hell has indeed frozen over')."
However, to be fair to Schmidt he did explain on a blog posting that the ad was never actually intended for the TV or the Super Bowl but was part of a series of videos designed to show how people used Google. They said that they liked the Parisian Love video so much they decided to share it with a wider audience.
Whether or not Google is under threat from Bing, or indeed any other search engine, is open for debate however. Figures on Statcounter.com suggest not, as they give Google a whopping 90.5 per cent share of the search market, while a combined Bing and Yahoo still only reaches 7.8 per cent.
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