Does Japan Know About Google Chrome

May 9, 2009

The official Google blog recently featured a very cute video advertising Google Chrome which was made by the Google Japan team. I’ve embedded the video below for those of you who are interested… the interesting thing to me is that this video has been seen over two million times with its English language title on Youtube, currently with over 5,000 ratings showing a very strong 4.5 stars. There are over 4,000 comments, most of them in English, none of them in Japanese (at the time of this writing).

A look at Google Japan’s Youtube also has the video with “Google Chrome” written in English and “shinpuru to iu shinka” or “a simple evolution” written in Japanese. The Japanese titled version of the video has just over 900 ratings showing 4 stars, just over 850,000 views, and about 90 comments.¬† Of those 90 comments, less than a third are in Japanese.

I am a big fan of Google, and I’m also a big fan of competition, so I love watching Google slowly take a piece of the Japanese search market. I also want to see Yahoo Japan put up a good fight to keep control of one of the few markets in which it still consistently beats Google.

In addition to Newzjapan, I write a blog in Japanese. Although this is not a very scientific representation, here is the breakdown by browser of the traffic I got on my Japanese blog in the month of April, 2009 according to Google Analytics.

  • Internet Explorer – 71.85%
  • Firefox¬† – 18.38%
  • Safari – 4.95%
  • Chrome – 2.71%
  • Opera – 1.39%

There were some other browsers such as Playstation 3 that showed less than 1%.

Given that Google Japan has developed a nice little advertisement they can use for Google Chrome, I’d really like to see what Google decides to do with it. I think Google needs to develop a different strategy to start competing in the Japanese market. We are in a place where (contrary to popular belief) technology and efficiency are not real priorities, but convenience, familiarity, and name brands are.

So I’d like to see Google starting to get out there and take Yahoo and Internet Explorer on. That means establishing the brand here, and maybe doing things a little differently than in other countries where just being awesome and being the best is enough.