Google's (GOOG) first Television ad campaign generated quite a bit of chatter recently. Unfortunately, coverage of this campaign by the big blogs completely missed the mark. The announcement of the Chrome TV ads on Google's Official Blog details the reasons for the campaign, but was anyone paying attention?
"Using some of the results from our placement-targeted ads on the Google Content Network, we designed a Google TV Ads campaign which we hope will raise awareness of our browser, and also help us better understand how television can supplement our other online media campaigns."
So there are two reasons Google is running the campaign: 1) to promote chrome 2) to collect and analyze data. Anyone who follows Google knows that the latter is their reasoning behind everything. Don't get me wrong, Chrome is cool, but the main reason Google is running this campaign is to put their system to the test and analyze the synergy created when Google's various advertising mediums are all working together.
This campaign is being pumped through (almost) every advertising medium Google offers (I bet if they hadn't recently discontinued it, we'd be seeing print ads too):
1) Search text ads
2) Banner ads
3) Video ads
4) Custom YouTube channel
5) TV ads
6) PR (blog post)
At first glance, it seems that one of Google's most prized ad mediums is missing from the campaign; Contextual Text Ads. These are the ads that show up on most blogs and are selected based on the content of the page. I expected to see Chrome contextual text ads on every blog covering the campaign, but instead it was ads for (you guessed it) Google TV Ads. In Google's blog post they say they are trying to "better understand how television can supplement our other online media campaigns". Does that mean that they were testing how a TV campaign for one product (Chrome) could affect the contextual text ad campaign for another product (Google TV Ads)? By leaving contextual ads out of the Chrome campaign and instead creating them for Google TV Ads, Google was able to reach their primary demographic; marketing people reading blog posts about the Chrome ads. Brilliant.
Another interesting strategy was Google's choice to use the YouTube Chrome brand channel as the landing page for their banner ads. We found out a long time ago that Google plans on brand channels being the center of their YouTube monetization strategy, but it has been off to a pretty slow start. Besides the experiencewii channel going viral during the launch of Wario Land: Shake It!, I can't remember any of these channels getting much traction. Though this time the Chrome channel seems to work. The short films are creative, interesting and don't seem too promotional. I predict we will start to see more banner campaigns using a brand channel as landing pages.
When the largest advertising services company in the world and the master of all things data decides to run a public test, I suggest anyone involved in advertising/marketing pay close attention. What is stopping you from replicating Google's strategies using the very same tools? If all you do is sit back and read the tech blogs, you are missing out big time.