Google is an advertising giant, and is now in the process of using its tremendous resources to expand how it serves the marketing needs of the largest companies, their products and brands. The online medium will undergo a subtle change as the financial interests of marketers help shape how search engines, social networks, mobile services and broadband video platforms serve us. Google’s push to become a more important must-buy for global advertisers is one reason why it’s buying DoubleClick (think about all of DoubleClick’s data collecting and ad serving system of global data centers merging with Google’s sophisticated technology so it can deliver more precision targeted ads wherever we are. That’s one principal reason Google opposes any privacy safeguards related to its proposed DoubleClick takeover).

Google’s now presenting advertisers with research it sponsored, notes Brandweek, that measured the effectiveness of identical advertising creative for three leading CPG [consumer package goods] brands in the food, beverage and personal care industries across three separate platforms: traditional TV, the YouTube online video environment and ad-embedded click-to-play video. The study found that YouTube (which is owned by Google) and embedded video ads performed just as well as TV spots to aid brand affinity and drive purchase intent. A case study using a campaign for Dove’s Ultimate Clear deodorant showed that ads on 271 of Google’s network Web sites and 121 groupings of sites geared toward the 18-34-year-old female target drove brick-and-mortar sales an incremental 25%. Of particular interest, 96% of that extra traffic represented new customers for the brand.”

As we’ve always said about the new media industry, as a way to warn the public that it would (like broadcasting and cable) be transformed by powerful economic forces into a system that undermined its democratic potential, it’s really about show business and advertising. Unless we proactively act during this transformation period to ensure we have the global democratic digital media system we require.
Source: Google’s Latest Search: More CPG Advertisers. Brandweek. December 17, 2007.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

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