No matter where you look, there are ads everywhere. In fact, unless you don’t like us and are using an ad blocker, there’s likely one at the top of this very page. Some ads are annoying, but sometimes we just have to live with them or try our best to skip them. Over time, we’ve gotten pretty good at avoiding ads, and it’s making things tough for advertisers. TV is one of the hardest places since avoiding an ad is as easy as changing the channel. The best method to get viewers to stay on an ad is to grab their attention, but that can be tough because of the way ads on TV are handled.
Ads on TV are usually sold based on the number of viewers a show gets and really the only way an advertiser can target a customer is by aiming for a show they might watch. Not a great plan. However things are starting to change with better methods, but now Google has entered the game, and they are changing things completely.
Google announced on the product forums for Google Fiber that Fiber TV subscribers in Kansas City would be the first to test out Google’s new TV ad test. This test will enable ads on television to work just like those on the web. If you’re not familiar with how that works, here’s the basics. Ads use your browsing history to find relevant ads from advertisers and place though in ad spots on websites you visit. So if you are considering buying a new phone or tablet and have been doing research on Google for it, odds are that ads will start to show up on websites you visit for tablets and phones.
On TV these ads will use your geographic location, the type of shows you watch, and your viewing history. Google says that these ads “will show during existing ad breaks, along with national ads, on live TV and DVR-recorded programs.” We don’t know exactly what Google means by your viewing history, but it will definitely be interesting to see the outcome of this test. Advertisers will without a doubt love this new system since they will be able to spend their money more effectively, but will you? This change definitely means that Google will have yet another way to keep an eye on their customers, now including their TV habits.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think Google and advertisers should be able to use this data, or would you prefer things stay the way they are? Let us know in the comments!