Google Integrates TV Ads Into Adwords Platform
I first discussed the rumored Google interest with TV ads last year, and Google seems to be near ready with their product almost one exact year later.
Google invited some Adwords members to test out Google TV Ads Beta, which lets advertisers upload or mail a 15, 30, 45, or 60 second TV ad to be run on regular TV sets.
This development comes after Google entered the newspaper ad placement and radio ad placement business, and is the natural next step.
Here are some important notes about the TV ad industry before I jump into the features of Google’s new system.
TV Industry Info
- TV has 98% reach in the USA
- Over 112 million households watch TV
- The TV ad business is a $26.9 billion industry
What is incredibly useful so far, is Google’s measurement tools, which help you reveal the behavior of your consumers. Google will:
- show you how many impressions were shown (1 impression here means 1 view per screen).
- let you choose a CPM rate to bid against other ads in that slot.
- let you run national, local, or demographic based TV campaigns.
- schedule ads based on day, time, and network.
- estimate how many people tuned in to the ad.
- tell you how long viewers watched the ad for on average
- show you what point in your ad you lost most viewers.
The last part is incredibly useful, because you can now test TV ads (or even video ads that would normally run online) to see if there is a “disconnect”, or a moment in your ad that was either offensive, irrelevant, or extraneous, and should be modified or deleted.
Screenshot from Google TV Ads Beta
Google uses the second-by-second set top box stats in order to find out precisely when people stopped watching an ad. You can essentially use this new feature as market research before running a full campaign.
Screenshot from Google TV Ads Beta
See More: You can see a full slide show with audio here.
What to expect in the TV industry
We can expect advertisers who never thought of advertising on TV rushing to try this out, while veteran advertisers on TV, such as Pepsi, will likely cut their ad spend, since they have an easier way to discover which ads aren’t working and would be able to turn off those ads or go back to the drawing board and come up with a better ad.
Changing the creative process
Another byproduct of Google’s TV Ads system will be much more scrutiny on TV shows by TV networks executives who will now have ways to prove what works and what doesn’t in the shows, and are likely to hijack the “creative process” in order to match and cater to the reality they see in their own stat checks using Google’s statistics.
With tons of advertisers suddenly having the option to advertise on TV, we’ll see a lot more unprofessional ads, and some inevitable blunders by confused first-time advertisers. This will in turn lower the quality of the network and the show the ad appears during, and at the same time dilute the special status of TV as being an “all professional zone”, which made it harder for people to miss watching it.
The reason why you watch more TV than YouTube is simple: YouTube has some professional video, but it has a ton of non-professional videos, many with terrible resolution, inadequate planning and designing, and all around “crap”. TV you are at least guaranteed to have several paid people working on every show in great resolution, and accountable to advertisers.
This is going to blur the difference I described above, and I foresee potential in the future for Google (which owns YouTube) to permit content producers from YouTube pay to have their show appear on regular TV networks, in exchange for a percentage of ad profits run during their show. This would lead to my next point.
TV: By the people, for the people
Democratization of what we see on TV would start occurring, since the number and diversity of advertisers will go way up. TV would lessen as a projection of what we “should be like” (hint, shows like The OC), and will start reflecting what we actually are like. This will lead to the creation of a true Long Tail effect for shows, spurred by the long tail of advertisers that will now be able to advertise easily from their Adwords account.
The very thought of appearing before so many people in one shot is very powerful. It will let people who do things just for attention to have a mouthpiece without much work. We all know the behavior of “graffiti to expand to fit the allotted wall space” (OK, I admit, I just created that saying) , and it is only a matter of time before someone will try to vandalize regular TV shows with obscene messages that go unnoticed (think “wardrobe malfunction“).
And, lest we forget, it is 2008 (an election year, for those of you who avoid media like the plague), so we can surely expect all sorts of TV ads run by supporters of the candidates, as well as haters of those candidates…TV is about to get much more political folks.
One thing’s for sure…TV will never be the same, and the industry that has fought change for so long is about to be in for a big surprise.
Any thoughts? comments? Add your thoughts below!