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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Google Advertising in China

Google used to pride themselves about how word-of-mouth spread popularity of their search engine, and to this day they’re doing remarkably little traditional advertising. However, after their ad campaign in Russia now another ad campaign in China has been spotted. Xujie in the forum posted photos from a article, with one pic shown above which includes Google’s super-short “” domain. From an automated translation: “Google China in Guangzhou Subway advertising is to promote Google’s mobile search services.”

At the moment, purely relying on word-of-mouth in China would be a tough challenge, too, as the business environment isn’t completely fair. For instance, according to a source accessing the web from China I talked to recently, Google competitor Baidu is often shown when you enter otherwise unrelated domains... like, or Beyond that, access to foreign servers is also reportedly often throttled, which caused a tough start for Google in the early years before their decision to move into China with a self-censored engine.

Beyond traditional advertising – on- or offline – and relying on word-of-mouth, there is of course a large array of other means to promote a product, such as contests; official product blogs; giving special exclusive information to journalists; product placement (for instance, Google got a product placement deal in the third installment of the Bourne Ultimatum movie series); partnerships causing pre-installed software (I had a whole bunch of annoying Google software come pre-installed with this laptop, not sure if that was an official Google partnership); cross-promotion of Google products in their product line (say, you can open a Word attachment in Google Docs when you’re using Gmail), and more.

[Thanks Xujie!]


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