Google announced today that it will offer a video ad service, which is basically an attempt to run TV-style commercials and capitalize on a fast-growing segment of rich-media online advertising (which typically has higher conversion rates).
Google hopes small businesses such as bed-and-breakfast inns will use video ads to attract customers on specialty websites. And indeed the service seems like a good option for anyone who can’t afford a large scale television advertising campaign, but is looking for an attention grabbing way to promote his business online.
The video ads won't be placed alongside Google's search results, just on the content websites of partners such as blogs and newspapers. The commercials will appear as static Web ads, but with a small video player. Clicking the play button will start the video playing in the ad box. Advertisers can now pay per play, which means, they won't pay for the ad unless the viewer clicks through to its website. If consumers fail to click on the ad, Google's system will replace it with another, more relevant ad.
Marketingshift offers an interesting perspective on Google's latest move:
"Do we really want to see more of the low quality ads from Joe's Furniture Emporium that are usually relegated to late night TV? Video ads will be an effective medium for the big brands and squeeze out smaller companies. The increased interest in video advertising will probably increase the amount of pre-roll ads for both video search engines and "premium" content sites such as Salon."