Google losing faith in online advertisingForces within Google are struggling to convince the company that maybe, just maybe, it might be a wise idea to buy some advertising offline. The company has hired Wieden & Kennedy to launch an ad campaign in Japan, and is also in talks with Taxi New York, according to the Wall Street Journal. And former Ogilvy & Mather exec Andy Berndt was given $10 million to promote the new Chrome browser — a pittance to match Chrome's already dwindling market share. There is, after all, a universe beyond the bounds of the Internet, and that universe is being bombarded with Justin Long and Jerry Seinfeld pitches for crap like the iPhone and Windows Vista. It's a world that watches television and drives past billboards on their way to work in jobs that don't provide free food or overpriced childcare. And they use Microsoft Office, Yahoo Mail and AOL Instant Messenger to communicate.Beyond the bounds of the Bay Area and small pockets of techies in select urban hubs, Google is simply where you go to find stuff online. And even then, the market share isn't unanimous — in an exchange with one of the proprietors of my neighborhood bodega, he told me he actually preferred Yahoo's search results. Perish the thought! The company is ripe for a brand advertising campaign, especially when Joe Six-pack (in Sarah Palin parlance) opens the paper and reads stories about Street View privacy invasions, antitrust investigations and champagne-fueled private flights to politician weddings in bucolia. If there's a brand in desperate need of a brand-awareness campaign, it's Google. And how better to win the affection of Madison Avenue than dumping some cash into the traditional ad market it has so publicly disdained? Especially when liquid currency is at such a premium in Manhattan. Marketing isn't just the price paid for being unremarkable — ad spends are the mana necessary to magically shift public opinion away from assuming that, like any other corporation, you don't actually have the interests of the proles at heart. (Original photo by Kevin Simpson)