Google called their ad campaign for Chrome their "biggest offline campaign ever" when they launched it in May. The search company is trying to draw attention to the technology powering its increasingly popular web browser and recently released cloud laptops with a series of 90-second television spots. So far, the campaign seems a little bit misleading since most of the Chrome ads seem sort of like YouTube promos in disguise. The latest one, tracking Justin Bieber rise to superstardom, is exactly that.
Just in case you didn't already know, YouTube made Justin Bieber a star. The 17-year-old Canadian singing haircut caught his big break after former marketing executive Scooter Braun accidentally clicked on a video of Bieber performing in 2007. Bieber's mom had been uploading clips of her son performing at the school talent show, playing drums in the living room and whatnot. Impressed by his performance, Braun flew the barely teenage Bieber to Atlanta to record demo tapes, and a week later he was singing for Usher. A year later, he signed with Def Jam. A year after that, his first single went platinum. And by June of 2011, Justin Bieber could claim the most popular video in YouTube's history with over 575 million views for his music video "Baby."
Google's marketing strategy here is pretty obvious. Hoping to repeat the viral success of their previous Chrome ad, featuring Lady Gaga, the search company is simply playing by the numbers. Bieber teased and later tweeted the completed commercial late last night, which is not a surprising move for the avid Twitter user. With 10.6 million at the time of this posting, Justin Bieber has more Twitter followers than anyone in the world--except for Lady Gaga who has 11.2 million.
Regardless of the strategy, Bieber's new Google commercial does provide one resounding message: YouTube can make you a star. As Google weighs the idea of making the video site into an entertainment production company, the commercials presumably promoting Google's future serves a great reminder that YouTube will continue to churn out grassroots success stories like the one about the teenager at a talent show that became the world's biggest pop star in two years. All because of YouTube, a Google product.
The third most popular Twitter user, by the way, is Barack Obama with 8.9 million followers. We'll probably have to wait a few years for that Google commercial, though, since the president's been taking heat lately for his close connections to the company.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.