Google Entertains Interactive Video Ads Idea

CEO Eric Schmidt says Google is experimenting with interactive video ads as a break from the traditional search and banner ads that have propelled the indexing and search company, as well as Yahoo, AOL and others, to success on the Web.

Google is constantly experimenting with online advertisements, trying video, mobile and other types of ads in an effort to attract consumers' eyeballs as they make their way around the Web.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt told media at the Allen & Co. summit that the company is experimenting with interactive video ads as a break from the traditional search and banner ads that have propelled Google, Yahoo, AOL and others to success online.

The Wall Street Journal noted (paywall): "Such ads, which could appear anywhere on a Web page, not just inside a video, would be like mini-Web pages."

Users would watch a video ad, leave a comment and read peoples' reactions to the videos within the ads in real time. This is a fine idea, but the construct appears limited to each siloed video ad.

There would be more significant potential if Google connected interactive video ads to Twitter. Google could, for example, allow users to watch the video ads and leave comments that get uploaded directly to a special advertising section on the popular microblog.

This is just spitballing and supposition. While Google draws on Twitter's API to include real-time tweets for its Web search and other properties, neither company has openly discussed plans to work together on advertising, let alone on lively video ads that stimulate user interaction.

Schmidt did not provide a timeline for the appearance of interactive video ads on Google or its partner properties, but said they would become prevalent. Asked for more information, a Google spokesperson told eWEEK:

""We don't have anything additional or specific to announce, but we're definitely doubling down on display and video ads. We're always looking to develop new formats and features that make them more interactive, engaging and effective.""

The interactive video format sounds intriguing, especially as ads appearing on smartphones and other platforms capable of supporting HTML (and HTML5) Web browsing grow increasingly media-intensive.

Video ads are catching on over at Google's YouTube video-sharing site, which is forever close to profitability.

However, Google isn't the only specialist to see potential in media-rich ads. Apple sees interactive display ads as the advertising mode of choice for the mobile Web on its iPhone.

In an increasingly fierce competition, Google is doing the same for smartphones with its AdMob mobile display ad unit, and offering click-to-call ads with rich media elements.