Those TV ads that Google has been running lately are costing the company a pretty penny … well, millions of pretty pennies, to be more accurate.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, which cites data from Kantar Media, Google spent some $70 million dollars on TV ads last year in the U.S. alone. That represents about one-third of the estimated $213 million that Google spent promoting its own products and services in 2011.
That $213 million figure is almost 400 percent more than Google’s estimated $56 million spend in 2010.
The majority of Google’s ad spending was for online ads, but the company also promoted itself in newspaper, magazine and television ads. Kantar, via the WSJ article, says that Google spent about 1.2 percent of its U.S. revenue on advertising, comparable to the 1.5 percent that Microsoft and Apple spent.
Advertising Google+ Almost Everywhere
In the second half of the year, much of Google’s marketing seemed to center on Google+, as the company aimed to introduce its new social network to a wider audience.
In October, Google took out a full page ad in the New York Times to pat itself on the back after the Dalai Lama joined Desmond Tutu in a Google+ Hangout.
Google also ran several TV commercials for Google+, including one that aired during a heavily-viewed Thanksgiving Day NFL broadcast. There was also a memorable TV spot that began running over the Christmas holiday (and later aired during the Academy Awards broadcast) and showed The Muppets singing their way through a Google+ Hangout.
Google also ran a number of spots for Google Chrome, including an award-winning spot called “Dear Sophie” that actually promoted a number of Google products.
Of course, Google also used some unconventional means to advertise its own products, like the Google Chrome sponsored blog post campaign in December. No word on what Google spent on that, but it did cost the Chrome web page a ranking penalty that lasted about two months, not to mention some serious egg on the company’s face.