Google nudging closer and closer to this space

May 22, 2009 by Dave Haynes

There’s enough of a record out there now to comfortably suggest that Google is going to get into any platform where it can leverage technology and generate more ad revenues, and my suspicion is the only reason the Google folks are not yet in the DS space is that it is still wildly disorganized and the revenue models are not there.

That will, of course, change, and news of where Google is at with its not-well-known TV Ads product is very interesting. And probably more than a little unnerving for software companies that are all about targeted ad and content delivery.

I was not, at all, familiar with TV Ads and had been thinking that one day these guys are going to get beyond Ad Words and Ad Sense and go hard after TV ad sales. A quick look around the TV Ads section of Google suggests the platform is there, and it would be no great reach, at all, to extend media planning and buying into the digital out of home sector when it grows up and gets its legs steady.


A little bit of embedded code, after registration, and your PC/screen set-up is sucking down targeted video ads.

Consider what went on in New York this week …

Google TV Ads has begun booking upfront deals with major agencies and advertisers for the first time, reports AdWeek.

Marketers are committing upwards of seven figures to buy ads through the TV spot buying system in the year ahead, with agencies like Deutsch and Saatchi & Saatchi and advertisers like Coldwell Banker coming to the table, said Mike Steib, director of Google TV Ads.

The company planned to host an event at its offices in New York on Thursday with more than 100 chief marketing officers of Fortune 500 companies and their agencies, who are in town for the network upfronts.

Many of the commitments run for a year starting in September. At first blush, that sort of long-term buy appears contradictory to the premise of Google TV Ads, which allows for automated, same-day buying. Steib explained that marketers can still buy or tweak their campaigns daily; they’re simply agreeing to use Google TV Ads throughout the year.

“What our customers told us if the planner can put us into the upfront plan, then the buyers are free to utilize the platform in the way…[that] works best for them,” he said.

They can also buy ads on YouTube now using Google TV Ads.

Advertising agency Deutsch is spending more than seven figures with Google TV Ads for the year ahead, marking a significant jump over its previous spend, said Peter Gardiner, chief marketing officer with Deutsch.

However, the system is not a replacement for the traditional upfront, he added. It works best for straight spot buys, but integrated deals will still be done via traditional means, he said.

Now, Google does not get everything right and dipped in and out of newspaper ad sales because of its struggles with that medium, for example. But if you can do TV, you can very likely do digital out of home. Between this, and what’s happening with Adobe’s platform, and teeny, non-PC devices that can play out smooth HD video, I think this could be a very different looking industry in less than two years.

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