RealTime IT News

Google Intros Gadget Ads Format

Branded mini-applications -- call them apps, badges, widgets, gadgets or whatchamacallits -- aren't anything new. They're all over social networks, portals and even desktops. And they're still going.

Google today announced Google Gadget Ads, non-traditional ad units with interactive, rich media capabilities.

Individual advertisers and agencies alike can develop the ads using Flash, HTML or both. They can incorporate real-time data feeds, images and video.

Advertisers will be able to choose between cost-per-click and cost-per-impression pricing models, as well as target their ads based on site context, domain, geography and demographics. And users can share and embed the gadgets on their blogs and portal homepages, though they won't get any cash for carrying the corporate flag.

Google is willing to distribute the gadgets across its advertising network, which the company claims reaches 75 percent of unique Internet users.

Preliminary Google Gadget Ad beta participants included brand advertisers such as Pepsi-Cola North America's Sierra Mist, Intel, Honda, Six Flags and Paramount Vantage.

Jupiter Research analyst Emily Riley told InternetNews.com to expect more brand name advertisers in the future. "This isn't necessarily, but it's certainly new for Google. They're hoping to entice more brand advertisers.".

Nothing new there, of course. According to a recent report from TNS Media Intelligence, Internet display advertising expenditures from January to June this year grew to $5.6 million, up 17.7 percent from the same period a year ago.

Google is after that growth. That's why it bought ad-serving firm DoubleClick earlier this year and started offering video advertising last summer.

Google Gadget Ads is currently in an expanded beta with a select group of AdWords advertisers worldwide.