You have to hand it to Google; they never quit.
Even with the world at its feet and with an unbelievable market share in search, they never rest on their laurels. Even with the best, most intuitive search engine on the planet, they continue to look for ways to make it better. Even with by far the best search advertising platform of the big three firms (including Yahoo! Search Marketing and MSN adCenter), they never cease researching and developing new ways to shock their clients with their seemingly limitless ingenuity.
That’s not to say that Google hasn’t had help. Like a good scholar, Google has learned from history. Many argue that Yahoo! was in a similar situation to Google’s present state before the Internet stock crash and that Yahoo! even survived the ordeal pretty well. Perhaps, they survived too well since a glaring criticism of Yahoo! was that it grew lazy and stagnant, sufficiently pleased by what it had accomplished. This is a mistake that Google will not be making anytime soon.
With varying degrees of success, Google has expanded beyond the medium of search into more conventional media of advertising. Through your standard Google AdWords interface, you can advertise to people not only on search engines, but also in blogs, on content sites, in newspapers and even with audio ads on the radio. Google has never missed an opportunity to use its trove of wealth and human talent to try and capitalize beyond its normal aegis of search. Now, Google hopes to broaden its reach by offering television advertising to its users.
The debate of the merits of Google’s expanding scope continues, however, one cannot help but notice that where Google goes, so goes increased opportunity for the little guy. Although far from perfect, search has become a rare medium where Mom & Pop can rub elbows with multi-million dollar firms on the first page of the search results, provided they can wield an effective campaign. Google has also begun using its leverage to make radio and print ads more affordable for small business owners.
Aside from crummy ads on local stations and sketchy late-night infomercials, television has been the most exclusive medium for advertising in the United States. Many companies ignore television ads altogether due to impossibly high prices and the lack of concrete methods by which to track results. Now that Google is in the mix, will television advertising, at least, in certain areas, become noticeably less expensive, more accessible or easier to analyze? It’s definitely not a done deal just yet–Google has had subpar results with its still improving print department thus far–but knowing how Google functions, it is certainly exciting that they will be shaking things up among the old guard in Hollywood.
I, for one, wish Google luck. They’ve managed up to this point on hard work and talent, but to make a meaningful impact in television, a little bit of luck might go a long way.
Watch the Google TV Ads Demo Video!