Google Ads for Gaming Today, the World Tomorrow
Have you seen the reports about Google adding advertising to gaming?
This is no surprise; there is a reason why the search giant picked up in-game ad firm AdScape for $23 million last February.
Say what you will about gaming being for geeks, but don't be naïve; millions of people of all demographics dip into gaming.
Seeing as how Google is looking to broaden its ad revenue, adding ads to a variety of game platforms is just as wise as the search vendor's gambits into mobile advertising, social networking, newspaper, TV and radio.
So it seems Google has spent almost a year testing ways to incorporate ads into games. How much harder or different can it be than putting ads in interactive widgets? Both are interactive mediums. But I'm no programmer.
The ads will appear in the landscape of games, so when you shoot up that ad-covered taxi, or blow up that promo-speckled building you'll be virtually taking out the ads for nightclubs and who knows what else.
Why not? It could lend a more realistic touch to the plethora of gaming landscapes. I could see some potentially sticky issues, such as Coca-Cola not appreciating that its virtual billboards get torched in a bloody firefight.
Taking this ads everywhere conquest further (because greed is good, Gordon Gecko says), how long before we see ads in Second Life?
Imagine getting paid to advertise on your avatar. Sounds whorish, yes, but why not? Sticking an ad on the back of an avatar, and perhaps all over an avatar's virtual world.
Better yet, why doesn't Google start advertising on the back of people? Think Times Square, though instead of just interactive billboards, we'd have ad snippets beamed on the back of people. So it would be like the games, though hopefully without the blood and guts.
This would be a very Minority Report-like world.
According to GigaOm, we could see the fruits of the AdScape integration as soon as next month.
Of course, Google bought JotSpot in Oct. 2006 and that hasn't seen the light of day despite yummy rumors of a Google Wiki.
So, even though Google had Postini well integrated within three weeks of closing the deal, you just never know what's going to stump the Googleplex.
But don't underestimate the Googlezilla's ability to find creative placements for ads, even if it means using real, live humans.