June 2nd, 2006

You Can’t HANDLE Brand Advertising


Brand advertising is the X-factor of the online advertising land grab — Google knows it needs to tap into brand/display advertising to grow, but Eric Schmidt knows they’ve got a problem:

“It’s a question of whether our system, which is so highly measurable, can really handle that . . . We have not yet come up with an approach that meets the kind of measurable . . . based advertising that we’d really like to put our brand and our name behind.”

Ah, the irony. Google came along and made advertising into an honest, measurable, P&L business — and companies signed up in droves, to the tune of $6 billion. But there are many more billions of ad dollars that still play by the old, unmeasurable, smoke-and-mirrors “branding” rules.

So the irony is that Google is a victim of its own success — they’re so darn measurable and accountable that they have no idea how to play the brand advertising shell game.

Brand building by its nature is non-transactional, so it’s inherently “unmeasurable,” at least according to the transactional, P&L standards of pay-per-click advertising — which is really a form of direct marketing. Branding and direct marketing are at opposite ends of the spectrum, and Google is caught at the far end.

Google wants to get into video advertising and become the broker for TV advertising. Let’s hope for the sake of Google shareholders that Google does better with video brand advertising than it did with print brand advertising — and that niche sites don’t get wise to fact that they don’t need Google to sell brand advertising.

Comments (8 Responses so far)

  1. market share it won’t be for for political reasons; Google only has to be less evil than its competitors, which is easy to do in the case of Microsoft and at least a wash with Yahoo & Ask. Glenn links to Jeff Jarvis over at BuzzMachine, who links toScott Karp and crows about how Google hasn’t done such a sweet job with print advertising or with brand advertising. To which I’d have to reply, who gives a shit? Where Google is strong is in helping small businesses to advertise, not large ones. And they’re

  2. For next Tuesday: write two blog posts, add two articles to the del.icio.us feed, and make a contribution to the class wiki. The reading includes most of The Search by John Battelle and the following blogs:http://publishing2.com/2006/06/02/you-cant-handle-brand-advertising/ http://www.google.com/intl/en/about.html http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist.html http://searchenginewatch.com/ http://battellemedia.com/ http://googleblog.blogspot.com/ Cheat Sheet that I handed out in class

  3. It’s so true. Overture gets no love! Just as Battelle tells the story of online advertising in The Search,Publishing2.comquips: ‘Ah, the irony. Google came along and made advertising into an honest, measurable, P&L business — and companies signed up in droves, to the tune of $6 billion.’ (my italics) The most mind blowing part of the Overture/ Google/ Ad triad

  4. brand advertising in the future for Google

  5. Google sprayed a solution from 1 billion feet. Good for them. It has worked well for them for sure. I think there is a huge underbelly to attack from a much lower altitude. Google won’t build brands and won’t really help bloggers in it’s current state. If you don’t believe me, maybe Scott Karp? The nerds that vote with their eyeballs and clicks say that he is smart! I say AdSense is NONSENSE and the “Hockey Stick” ( I am Canadian and hate “Tipping Point”) in blogging is at hand. Bloggers won’t quit. Too many good ones entering the fray

  6. An aspect of brand advertising, especially tv advertising, that most web2.0 thinkers miss is the impact of size and scope. When consumers buy 40″, 50″, 60″ HDTVs the impact of the content and advertising is that much greater than on a 20″ or 27″ tube of yore. A little text box shown on a monitor doesn’t have the same reception on our senses that a moving image on a big screen tv does. Advertisers pay up for that kind of unmeasureable impact.

  7. In light of Google’s success it would be arrogant for me to tell them what to do, but I think that keeping an eye on what made Google successful in the first place would be good. Then again, what do you do when you’ve got that much cash sloshing around? Buy a country instead?

  8. [...] Scott Karp tickles the soft underbelly of big Google, saying that they can’t handle brand advertising and that their print ad program isn’t going well. Ah, the irony. Google came along and made advertising into an honest, measurable, P&L business — and companies signed up in droves, to the tune of $6 billion. But there are many more billions of ad dollars that still play by the old, unmeasurable, smoke-and-mirrors “branding” rules. [...]

  9. awesome –

    I think this whole space is wide open to new innovative ideas that will make boggers money. Adsnse is nonsense.

    We are way past the blogging toipping point and there is much money to be made helping bloggers make money from good content.

  10. [...] The decidedly militant publishing 2.0 on exactly why advertisers hate the web: it’s measurable. And as a result, Google is putting its hands up and saying that it can’t really incorporate brand building advertising into its model. [...]

  11. [...] This post by Scott Karp on his blog Publishing 2.0 shows us why Google does more than simply exist as a search engine with ad based revenue.  This isn’t to say that Google does not rely on ad revenue; however, Google seems to realize that in order to evolve they need to become more than an ad based company.  Scott Batelle points out that Google is transforming into a media company on his blog.  I find this post fascinating for two reasons: first because Google denies the fact that they are trying to start a media revolution and secondly they want to remain a tech company.  I can see the reason to remain a tech company and really the lines between media and technology seem to be very blurred.  One comment on this post says that Web 2.0 was created to fill a void and perhaps the term MediaTech is also being thrown around to fill a void.  I suppose Google is posturing itself to remain a tech company and not a media company because they want to remain cutting edge.  As another person points out in the comments section why would all of the top engineers want to work in the tech department of a media company?  Google has positioned itself to remain cutting edge and consistently developing newer and more advanced products than their competitors such as their new calendar, government search engine, Picassa photo editor , and spreadsheet. While some of these can be described as media tools I seem to think as most as tech tools; however, as I noted before the lines between media and technology are so blurred at this stage in the game.  One can only assume that this trend will continue.  Posted by apinkele Filed in Uncategorized, Google [...]

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