Google accelerated advertising for its social network by showcasing Jim Henson’s The Muppets in a new commercial about the Google Plus Hangouts feature.

The Muppets performed an impromptu band session as they rocked out to a cover of  “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie through a Google Plus Hangout. Google explained that Hangouts are the “best way” for users to say: “I’m online and want to hangout!”

A Hangout lets users “chill with friends that are scrolling the web,” “use live video chat,” or “coordinate plans.” In other words, the feature is essentially a hyped-up video conferencing capability through Google Plus. The multi-person video chat tool allows up to 10 participants to hang out for free.

Google recently released a trio of new television commercials that promote its social network by featuring Hangouts with the Muppets, NBA announcers, Steve Kerr, Spero Dedes, Bill Walton, Kenny Smith, and Jon Barry. This is not the first time Google collaborated with the The Muppets to advertise one of its products. There was another Muppets Hangout Nov. 7, and the search engine giant celebrated the 75th birthday of Muppet creator Jim Henson by forming an interactive Muppets’ logo for Google.

It will be curious to see if  Google’s new commercials will be enough to encourage the use of Google Plus. It is difficult to get an accurate figure on Google Plus use, but the website has allegedly seen growth in recent months. According to November statistics from Hitwise, Google Plus experienced its third-largest week of traffic ending Nov. 12. However, The The Los Angeles Times reported that overall traffic to Google Plus has allegedly fell nearly 50 percent after the first 21 weeks of its June launch.

The most recent statistics placed Google Plus at around 6.8 million weekly visitors in mid-November, with around 75 percent of the traffic supplied by return visitors to the website. Although those are just recorded visits, not actual growth-or use-of Google Plus accounts.

Thus, it is too early to tell whether the recent boost in advertising will help, but it appears Google Plus is closer to maintaing stability rather than achieving growth. Unless, of course, The Muppets latest commercial keeps Google regulars “Under Pressure” to try its social network.




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