Okay, this is too cool.
I've heard about this, but hadn't seen it live and in the wild until today. While not entirely surprising, the fact that Google has added video to the paid search ads in their results is kind of a big deal.
On certain searches, you can now see what Google is calling a "video plus box" below some ads in the Sponsored Listings section. For example, search the term "extract”—which is also the name of an upcoming Miramax film from director Mike Judge.
Here's a screenshot of the results:
When you click the plus, the ad area expands and reveals a video player. The video plays automatically. Here's a look:
The article from Ad Age says that Google records a "click" for that ad when a user either watches 10 seconds of the video or clicks through to the destination site.
The Travel Channel has begun bidding on terms as well, including "man vs. food”, the ad for which contains a preview of the popular competitive eating show (one of my favorites).
The spin on this news is that Google's trying to reach out to Hollywood, since studios have long ignored Adwords as a viable marketing option—who knows why that is? With all the money they throw at marketing a film, you'd think they'd be more open to experimenting with Google ads. But now with video… with trailers… the light bulb has come on.
And that's just the beginning. I can't fathom this is all just to woo Hollywood. Half the advertisers I work with would want to add video to their advertisement today if they could.
Right now, the program is private, with Google offering the video ads to a hand-picked group of advertisers. However, once this thing is unleashed on the general public, you're going to see video ads go from zero to 100 in no time flat. Videos in Google search ads will become the norm.