Language: EN | ES

Google Chrome invests in OOH, digital ads to reach Formula 1 Racing fans as the sport grows in popularity

The header image shows an animation of two people driving in a car, passing a sign that says "Buy!"
This article is also available in Spanish. Please use the toggle above the headline to switch languages. Visit to read more content in Spanish.

Google is promoting its Chrome browser with out-of-home and social ads to reach Formula 1 fans as the sport is becoming increasingly popular.

During the United States Grand Prix Oct. 21 in Austin, TX, the brand advertised with signs at the airport and local concerts, and with Chrome-wrapped shuttle buses for attendees to take to the race. The tech giant put digital ads on social media with the Google Chrome branding, and had an on-site activation.

“We want to start building affinity with our brands and F1 fans,” said Adrienne Lofton, global vice president of platforms and ecosystems marketing at Google. “With the Austin Grand Prix, we plan[ned] to drive usage of and brand love for [the] Chrome browser by being front-of-mind and connecting with F1 fans onsite and online with engaging experiences that showcase Chrome’s speed and performance.”

It is unclear how much of Google’s advertising budget is allocated to this campaign as Lofton declined to share budget specifics. According to Kantar data, the brand spent a little over $204 million so far on advertising this year. Lofton said that the ad spend was split evenly with 50% toward OOH and 50% toward digital ads.

On site, fans were asked a mix of McLaren and Chrome trivia questions by Jessica Smetana, a digital creator, and podcast host for a chance to win exclusive merch and gift bags.

And driver Lando Norris demonstrated Chrome’s speed by completing tasks, such as making a purchase with stored payment information, in a matter of seconds, the length of a good F1 pit stop. Norris appeared in three short social ads for Google Chrome’s Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram accounts.

“This association with one of most watched sports in the world, and certainly the most high tech, casts the normally approachable every-person brand in a different, hyper efficient light at a time when all of the big tech companies are racing to be seen as credible hardware producers and leaders in Web 3 innovation,” said Ian Schatzberg, CEO and founder of brand agency General Idea Agency.

In recent years, Formula One has increased in popularity, especially among young viewers. From 500,000 in 2018 to nearly 1.5 million viewers in 2022, F1’s average viewership steadily increased in the U.S. Additionally, the 2021 U.S. Grand Prix in Austin drew the largest F1 crowd in history.

“It is savvy for Google to pursue a partnership with McLaren Formula One Racing Team as the sport continues to grow in popularity because they are able to reach a large audience while continuing to be a trendsetter in experiential and digital marketing,” said Olga Andrienko, VP of brand marketing at leading SaaS and online visibility company Semrush.

Chrome is still the most popular browser in the world 15 years after it was launched, but — as Lofton put it — the tech giants still wants “to bring more people to the party.”

“To do that, we need to show up in culturally relevant moments and connect with consumers in new and authentic ways, building stronger ties with people around the world, especially the next generation,” said Lofton.

More in Marketing

What TikTok’s e-commerce launch could mean for marketers and content creators

TikTok has officially launched its new e-commerce platform, TikTok Shop, earlier this month on August 1. Using the new e-commerce platform, brands and creators can sell products directly on the platform, potentially creating new revenue streams, and tap into the short-form video platform’s growing popularity.

‘The influencer industry can be really vile’: Confessions of an influencer marketer on the industry’s unfair hiring practices

While the influencer industry might sound exciting and like it’s full of opportunities, one marketer can vouch for the horrific scenarios that still take place behind the scenes.

Digiday+ Research: Marketers said revenue grew in the last year, with more growth expected ahead

After a tumultuous 12 months, marketers are getting a clear picture of how they really did during a time of true uncertainty. And, as it turns out, it wasn’t all that bad.