In this article, we will explain the origins of Google’s innovative mini-fridges


Who does not like to wear something with their favorite brand? It can be a sticker or a badge, a t-shirt, or a backpack. Or directly its most emblematic products. But some specialize in collecting everything that bears that precious brand. Merchandising has managed to give added value to any brand. In addition to selling their products and services, they can make themselves known with t-shirts, bags, sweatshirts, and other objects. You just have to print your brand on them. The most recent case is that of  Microsoft and its Xbox refrigerator. But Google also had its moment of originality with its Google fridges.

The thing about Microsoft and its Xbox fridge started as a meme. A joke that got out of control and ended up becoming a  real merchandising product. If you’re an Xbox fan, chances are you’ll want to get your hands on an Xbox Mini Fridge or Mini Fridge, a replica of the Xbox Series X in which to chill your sodas and beverages. Small but with a very successful design that combines the black and green that identify the Xbox brand. Something that was talked about during the last months of 2021 and that, in practice, was still an Xbox advertising campaign. involuntary But advertising.

But when it comes to refrigerators and internet giants, Microsoft isn’t alone in getting involved with home appliances. When Google boasted in its early years of its motto “ Don’t be evil ”, it had some other original idea like any self-respecting startup. And among these ideas, the Google fridges, mini-fridges or mini-fridges that only received, as a gift, the best AdWords customers, the advertising service that made Google the giant it is today, stood out.

For sale on eBay

If you look at second-hand portals for something like “ Google refrigerator ” or “ Google Cooler ” you will find mini-fridges, with a capacity of approximately 20 liters, white, and that attracts attention because they have the Google logo printed on their door. Specifically, Google AdWords and the  Cooler Thinking slogan. A play on words of cool that, in English, means both cold or cool and great or great.

The peculiarity of these Google refrigerators is that they are second-hand and cannot be bought new. Not even when they were made, back in 2006. They were a giveaway as part of the Google AdWords  Cooler Thinking campaign. A limited series of mini-fridges that were sent to the best Google AdWords customers. Those who had achieved a million PPC ( Pay Per Click ).

Not for nothing, what was called Google AdWords in 1996 and is known today as  Google Ads, was the best idea Google had to make its search engine profitable. And the products that would come from now on. Introduce ads based on the words that users search for. This turned Google into an advertising giant. And it still is. In 2021,  more than 80% of Alphabet’s sales (the matrix that encompasses Google) were for advertising. Advertising that we see on Google, YouTube, and many other products and services that millions of people use for free on their devices. To get an idea. In the last three months of 2021, of the 76,000 million benefits, 61,000 were advertising. Payment services such as Google Cloud “only” accounted for 5,541 million.

So, if you’re a fan of Google and want to collect everything from this internet giant, you can’t miss an exclusive mini-fridge. As I said before, 20 liters of content fit in it. Specifically, 18 bottles and cans of soft drinks. Its dimensions are, in inches, 18x15x12. Approximately 46x38x31 centimeters. Being a gift to American customers, the plug pin is classic American.

A never-ending supply of money

As we have spoken on several occasions, Google was born as a final degree project. The founders of the company, which started by launching an automated search engine, Sergey Brin and. Lawrence Page met at Stanford University. There the algorithm that made the Google search engine so special arose and there the first server that hosted Google was launched. With the help of other people who are practically anonymous today.

The fact is that what we know as Google, the company was born in 1998. Two years later, the search engine begins to show discreet advertising in the form of paid words,  Google AdWords. And as I mentioned before, thanks to this advertising and the rapid growth in users of the search engine itself, Google is experiencing enormous growth. Already in 2001, they will buy a company to create Google Groups. In 2002 they will launch Google News. And in 2003 they will buy Blogger. That same year they will launch the specialized search engine Google Books. From there to dozens and dozens of online services and products, desktop applications, and, later, mobile applications.

google mini fridge
google mini fridge

But that growth is thanks to the huge amounts of money coming into Google through Adwords. If in 2001, “only” 70 million dollars entered, in 2003 they already reached 1,420 million dollars. In 2011, 36,530 million. And for 2021, the figure reached 209,490 million dollars. In  Statista you have the complete figures, year by year. In addition to other interesting data, such as that in the world search market, Google is responsible for 85% of desktop searches. The competition must make do with the remaining 15%.

Best customers are rewarded with special gifts

A piece of news from 2006 puts us on the track. Apparently, for Christmas 2005, Google’s advertising department sent Christmas gifts to premium AdWords users. That information ran in several forums of the time. The gifts, packed in a small white box with colored dots, were as varied: a handbag, a mini-computer mouse with a roll-up cable, a USB charger for the mouse also with a roll-up cable, a four-port hub USB, a USB LED light, a 128 MB flash drive (it was the standard amount at the time, we are in 2005) and a set of headphones with a retractable cable.

And if that Christmas kit wasn’t enough, in 2006 there were more gifts for the best Google AdWords customers. Google’s mini-fridges are the ones we’ve mentioned in this article. A way to build loyalty and be kind to the public while gradually gaining favor with the public thanks to the search engine and other free services. In addition, these were exclusive gifts. Even if we go back to 2004, some people received as a Christmas gift an FM/AM radio set that incorporated LED lighting to create varied environments.

It’s preferable if it’s brief, but not essential…

Google’s shipment of mini-fridges occurred in 2006 and 2007 with a model that mimics classic refrigerators with curved lines and a metal handle. Of course, there are other later designs out there, such as the egg-shaped mini-fridge that was sent in 2008. Also to premium customers of Google AdWords. An egg-shaped mini-fridge that looked more like a spaceship than a fridge. Minimalist and with the Google print and “ Cooler thinking… ” of the original model.


Apparently, in 2009, the gifts are over. Goodbye Christmas kits, radios with lights, and Google fridges. Instead, AdWords customers received virtual cards that donated money to charities and projects. A change of strategy for which we do not know the reason. Of course, for some time now, Google has continued to give away all kinds of objects, gadgets, and merchandising to collaborators, influencers, and other winners. But that is for another article.

As a curiosity, if you are interested in collecting objects with the Google brand, you can purchase some of them in the official  Google merchandising store. It includes all kinds of objects, especially clothing: bags, wallets, sweatshirts, t-shirts, socks… There are also mugs, stickers, pencils, pens, and notebooks, both from Google and from other associated brands such as YouTube or Android. There’s even a bamboo lunch box, sunglasses, and an umbrella. Of course, you will not find the already obsolete but appreciated Google refrigerators.

What do you think?

Written by Rachita Salian


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