Google are dipping their toes into the print ad arena, with the aptly named Google Print Ads. On the surface, this seems like a complete sideways shift for the search giant. Though as with all Google strategic moves, this one is no human error.
For Google, this is an excellent time to branch sideways, and capitalise on not just a struggling newspaper, but a struggling industry. Google has already signed over 800 US newspapers. And counting. (caveat: newspapers must be paid circulation, though with the recent launch and expected boom of The Printed Blog, rules could be bent.)
It works the same as Google Adwords, in that users can create a line ad or a small display ad for a particular paper, or a particular audience. Google handles the media buy, placement, trafficking, and invoicing. This technology was already built and honed for years on the Adwords platform. Thus, the total cost of ownership is instantly shared among business units, reducing the ROI goal for the search giant.
As an added bonus, advertisers are given the opportunity to try their hand at a 2d barcode, or a QR code to most punters. Why is it that the cheapest form of advertising, line ads and classifieds, are the ones about to embrace this latest technology? It’s taken someone like Google to endorse the technology, and to make it cool. Of course, this serves a huge blow to Microsoft’s Tags and High Capacity Colour Barcodes research. (Is playing catchup their mantra?)
I have yet to find a North American, European or Australian brand willing to dive into QR codes. Have you found any examples?