Online ad products: More innovations rolling out from Google

24/01/2008

Comment & Opinion | by Danny Meadows-Klue

2008 is set to be another massive year for online advertising product development. A few key players will drive these initiatives because their global economies of scale allow for exceptional research and development resources. Here’s a quick summary of three powerful tools from Google that we feel will capture the market in 2008.

Google: Getting video right

The development of the Google Video Unit formats is another significant step in the roll-out of video content on the web. Their selection of premium partners and the ease of embedding the players within websites is making access to video that much easier. That’s sure to lift the reach of YouTube’s content even further and it helps create a shift in the expectations of audiences.

Google Gadget Ads

These are websites within websites. They can include search, video, audio, animations – they whole variety of content. It’s a powerful way of tapping into the hyper distribution of content that AdSense became famous for five years ago. The Gadget Ad model is making display advertising distribution that much easier, and by embedding the experience in the fabric of the publisher’s web pages, the model gets around the click-through challenge and the disruptive model of taking customers out of the site they were previously in. This has been one of the fundamental disconnects in the alignment of goals between advertiser and media owner and the viewer. The Gadget Ad model plays to the heart of this and that’s why it stands such a strong chance of becoming a key platform.

Google: Print Ads for Europe? 2008 must be the year.

In 2007 Google launched the print ads programme in the US. From their heritage in online media they started to break out into classic media and quickly signed up the New York Times, The Boston Globe and the San Francisco Chronicle. Advertisers pay through their Google accounts to get into the print titles. This will be the year it comes to Europe.

The model is simple. The advertiser places a bid to get their advert into a newspaper. They create a framework for the transaction and the publisher has a choice whether or not to accept the advert. Google are positioning themselves as an introducer. For the newspapers it’s a seductive model, that’s why by the start of 2008, 600 paid daily newspapers have already partnered with Google in the US. To make the model more efficient, Google has invested in the development of tools that will allow advertisers to create ads that can transform text into print quality advertising. The templates are simple, but the model is elegant with images and logo uploads and a range of creative solutions within a click or two. The model is powerful but could never be cracked by print titles working together.

It’s ironic that it takes a dotcom pureplay to solve one of the perennial problems newspapers have wrestled with. The fact it’s a free service means that much of the copy is getting reused with or without the Google transaction. For the search giant that’s unlikely to be a problem

As for Google’s view? When they say, “it’s not available in Europe, yet” the word ‘yet’ is the key. This is a great business model that delivers massive market efficiencies and achieves goal alignment between advertisers, newspaper publishers and customers. 2008 has to be the year it explodes out of the US market. Local outdoor media, radio and television are bound to be the media channels next in line.

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