Google now offers click-to-play video ads. The ads show a still image which the user can click on to cause the video to play. . It’s important to design the initial stills so that they’re interesting enough to grab the user’s attention and inspire them to watch the videos.
Here’s what’s really amazing about the program: Google doesn’t charge the advertiser to show the first image, and then they don’t charge to play the video! They only charge once the user has clicked through to the advertiser’s website.
This is great for advertisers because they can get away with free branding. It’s worthwhile even if the user doesn’t click through to the corresponding website.
It’s like paying for an ad on network television only if people visit the company’s website after viewing the ad! With this great benefit in mind, it’s important to make that initial still image as compelling as possible.
Google recently launched a series of video ads, which I first saw on LinkedIn, a business social network that now features video advertising throughout the site.
This ad has a homemade look to it, as if a bunch of Google engineers made it up and shot it right in their cubicles. It features a bunch of evil puppets that attempt to deliver spam into another puppet’s Gmail account, meeting their untimely doom at the hands of a giant pair of scissors. It reminds me of a low-budget version of the Fandango paper-bag characters.
What’s innovative about this ad is that it’s part of a series, and links to other ads in the series are embedded right in the player. So if a viewer finds this ad entertaining, they can just click the “next video” link to watch another video in the series.
Another interesting aspect of this ad is the product it’s for. You’d never see a traditional TV commercial for a product like GMail. First, GMail absolutely free, and that makes buying expensive TV time uneconomical. Second, Gmail appeals to a fairly narrow audience when compared with mass-market consumer products like cola, diapers, and insurance.
This is the first Google commercial I can ever recall seeing. As online commercials become more prevalent, companies that traditionally haven’t made commercials will start to do so. This will happen because the Internet makes the cost of distribution dramatically lower. Online, the creative will make up a much greater share of the cost of producing a commercial compared to buying TV time.
The only problem with this ad was that when I wanted to watch more of them, I couldn’t find it again on LinkedIn! If you’re going to make something that’s entertaining, make sure to provide a way to get back to it!
Well, I’ve finally found her—the perfect girl. I knew she was out there, somewhere. Actually Lee introduced us.
She says all the right things. Damn, this girl’s got my number.
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…His mother’ll be so happy.