Google TV Ads, an automated online service for buying cable ad spots, made some significant in-roads last week. The search giant nailed a handful of deals following a presentation to marketers in town for the broadcast upfront programming events. (Click here for complete coverage of the upfront ad market.)
The company, which already has deals to represent cable channels, signed a seven figure deal with Interpublic ad agency Deutsch Inc., which has its own buying unit. Real estate company Coldwell Banker is reported to be another client, according to THR.com. Another marketer, Realty Executives International, is featured in an online testimonial for the product.
Peter Gardiner, partner and chief media officer at Deutsch Inc., said, "I think the way the TV environment keeps changing, we're trying to stay involved with new things people are doing in TV. Some are going to work, some aren't, but when you have big bright minds at Google you see what you can learn." Deutsch's clients include Kodak, Tylenol and Sony PlayStation, though not all of the agency's clients are involved.
Google TV Ads has deals with several distributors and programmers, including satellite TV operator EchoStar, NBC Universal's cable channels, Bloomberg TV and Hallmark Channel.
The company's online software platform enables buyers to place bids on unused ad inventory as part of an auction system. An advertiser, for instance, suggests a CPM price and searches for, say, CNBC or any of 100 cable channels or a specific word like, ‘chef.' Once the cable channel checks to see if it has enough inventory, the CPM is accepted and an advertisers' ad spot is introduced into the commercial break automatically. Advertisers can also choose to see content for certain shows in advance and block buys on unwanted episodes.
The next evolution for Google TV Ads, headed by former NBC executive Mike Steib, is to offer to place automated ads into content at YouTube and in long form programming airing online around the web. Google TV Ads executives confirmed the event at its New York Chelsea headquarters
The concern among agencies, however, is whether Google TV Ads will achieve critical mass and offer enough inventory.
Executives have been demonstrating the product to press and clients the past few months. Google even set up a Twitter account for the product in early May. (It has 110 followers.) For those interested in their own online demonstration, Google's YouTube hosts a spot featuring the product engineers.