Google has introduced Gadget Ads, rich more interactive ad units aimed at increasing engagement. Currently in Beta with select AdWords partners, the ads dynamically update and can include real-time data and live video.
We’ve seen all this before. DoubleClick’s Teaser integrates video, and agencies Carmichael Lynch and Deep Focus have previously used widget ads. The widget below includes RSS and allows users to grab the embed code directly from the ad.
Above: A Mighty Heart Gadget Ad
Google’s formal introduction is important because they provide a large scale, open platform for distributing these ads and tracking their success.
Google’s apparent hope is that end-users will share in creation and distribution, propagating advertiser messages out across their social networks as they would traditional content.
Corey Adds: I just came back from an OPA Breakfast where the topic of widgets came up. One attendee asked about their viability beyond the entertainment vertical. While entertainment companies are earlier adopters here, and their content works as “advertainment,” it is very difficult to see how a widget like this works beyond a very limited scope of advertisers. I’d love to know what typical MySpace user is going to embed a widget for Staples or Target or Irish Spring or anyone who isn’t fully committed to launching a full branded entertainment initiative. My favorite movies, or a movie I just saw, or the latest music video from Puffy? Piece of cake. Maybe funny commercials from Axe Body Spray that are too racy for TV. Beyond that, I’m very intrigued but highly skeptical at the moment.