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Google Serves Up Video Ads on AdSense Content Network May 23, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.

A couple observations on Google’s video ads, based on talking to their execs last week:

– Likelihood of video ads on Google.com, or on search results pages: not very high at all. Certainly no time soon. Google argues that “search is farther down the purchase funnel,” so branding-oriented video ads are less relevant. Well, I suppose. But this is really a little bit more religion — on Google’s part, not on advertisers’ — than rationality. And clever marketers can use video at any stage of the purchase funnel/marketing cycle.

– Ironically, Google is doing its usual forward-thinking, ground-breaking, real-time product experimentation, yet missing out on what big advertisers are really looking for: that is, in-stream online video advertising. Most advertisers and agencies I talk to are excited about trying to recreate the linear TV experience online — inserting ads before, during and after the “show.” This may be fundamentally wrong-headed, but that’s what they’re trying to do. And there hasn’t been a whole lot of consumer resistance to in-stream ads yet.

– This is a cool way for smaller, less video-savvy publishers to tap some video ad spending dollars. And for media planners to take advantage of the powerful Google network.

– It’ll be fascinating to watch TV-trained media planners negotiate Google’s auction-based marketplace. But hey, they’re talking about trying that out on real TV, too.

– Google’s hard at work on measuring playback rates and time spent with the ad, and — the harder task imo — to work that into a simple pricing scheme.

– Classic Google: its video advertising initiative has nothing to do with its video hosting marketplace. At least not yet.

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