I can’t believe this, but I just heard that Google AdWords is going to be extended to allow us advertisers to slip video snippets into our advertising? Can that be true, and if so, when can we try it out? I’m really excited as my product is perfect for little video demos…
I admit it, I thought you were a bit loony when I read this message from you, but just a few days later I bumped into a note on Google’s invaluable Inside AdWords blog (run by folks at Google, not third parties) and here’s what they had to say about this:
In the coming days, we will be adding click-to-play video ads to the line-up of text, Flash and image ad formats currently supported by the Google content network. At launch, video ads will be available to AdWords advertisers in the US, Canada and Japan – but we plan to roll them out to other regions shortly.
Now, let’s talk about the details.
First, as with all AdWords ad formats, video ads will compete for placement on sites in the Google content network with other text, Flash and image ads — and, as with our other image ad placements, you can choose to bid on a CPC or CPM basis.
Second, these ads will be supported by both site- and keyword-targeted campaigns. You can choose to serve your video ad on a specific site or on pages in our content network that relate to your product or service. As always, you have the ability to geo-target your video ads internationally, nationally, or locally.
Finally, unlike some intrusive advertising, users will have complete control. When a page loads, only a static image will be visible; the video will not start playing until the user initiates it. He or she will be able to advance the video, pause it, adjust the volume or click through to the advertiser’s site, as you can see in the example below:
But, you may say, video is only for big branding oriented advertisers. We beg to differ. This feature makes video ads much more accessible to all advertisers. Now, an owner of a small bed & breakfast in Lake Tahoe can put a video tour of his beautiful chalet right next to an article that talks about skiing the epic slopes of Squaw Valley.
So there you have it. Very darn cool and it’ll be exciting to see how companies take advantage of this new type of advertising mechanism. And, yes, we are indeed seeing the convergence of Web advertising and television take yet another step with this addition to AdWords.
By the way, if you want to get involved, you’ll need to have an AdWords account. The ads won’t show up on the Google search results pages themselves, however, they’ll show up on content pages, which are those pages – like this one – that have signed up for the Google AdSense program (see Getting started with AdSense). Further, you’ll also need to accept image adverts, not just text, and you will need to have image ads that are a sufficient size to match potential video ads, so the smallest possible sizes won’t let you receive these new ad formats…