06. 28. 2006
Google rolls out Click to Play advertising
Advertising is similar to a chair. Good design can take a simple chair from a place to sit to a new plane where the form becomes part of the function. A proper advertising campaign requires finesse, planning, and attitude. Google has rolled out their Click-to-Play system of dynamic video advertising, and the color bending medium of flashtastic full motion will theoretically give advertisers a chance to interject a little more life into campaigns that were previously confined to flat text and images. Most importantly it looks to be a winner because Google left the playback controls in the hands of those people who view the ads.
This new format uses the existing Adwords system to pick which ad in the database matches the content of the page you're currently viewing; click once to play the video and click twice to visit the advertiser's website. The CtP ads will compete in the pool with all of Google's other ad formats using the bidding infrastructure already in place. Video length is capped at two minutes, and advertisers are able to track the number of playbacks and clickthroughs. The ads are billed by impression or clickthrough; so other than the Google Video playback controls they seamlessly embed just like the last generation of static image ads.
Google's official AdWords blog has an example up, and I have to admit that it's fairly unobtrusive. I did accidentally click through the example ad a couple of times when trying to switch browsers, but that's a common accident when dealing with large ad formats. They're available in three sizes: 300x250, 336x280, and 250x250 pixels.
New ad formats always seem to have an initial success period based on novelty, but it will be the readers that eventually decide acceptance or rejection. Pop-ups, pop-unders, and full page interstitials were all great successes when initially debuted, but over time their effectiveness has declined. Conveying the message in a medium that encourages participation will ultimately be the strength that keeps these new ads around for quite a while.