Google Gadget Ads

Amber Farley - December 19, 2008

Online display advertising has been around for years.  It’s been particularly popular with companies who have had a large advertising budget, and who want to increase their branding message in relevant online channels.  As more advertisers moved to the internet, banner ads continued to grow in popularity. The online space soon became very monotonous and cluttered. Every ad started to look similar, and the average visitor wasn’t able to remember one ad from the other. Static images were not enough anymore.

Next, Rich media came into the picture a few years ago.  With companies such as PointRoll, advertisers were still able to promote their brand through online messaging and images, but it was done with engagement being top of mind.  Rich media formats allow people to interact with the ad.  You have probably heard of roll over ads, video ads, expandable ads, etc.  These are all forms of rich media and have become increasingly popular with advertisers across various industries.

Google has now taken it a step further with gadget ads. Gadget ads enable advertisers to engage an audience better than ever before.  Many people within the industry think of gadget ads as mini versions of websites. Gadget ads are designed to offer useful applications to their audience such as: data feeds, images, audio, video, maps, Flash, HTML, or JavaScript in a single ad creative.  Gadget ads can also be shared and posted anywhere. Below are a couple of examples that Google recently featured.


Gadget ads run on the Google content network and are priced by CPM or CPC based on their auction model. Through the content network, the advertiser can serve the gadget ad on thousands of sites, with no serving or hosting feeds. The advertiser can also target their audience by site, category, demographic, geographic location, etc.  Google also allows the advertiser to extend their campaign on iGoogle while allowing for free inclusion of the gadget in the iGoogle directory.  According to Google, developers can build gadget ads in less than one hour using Google’s tutorial. Currently, Gadget ads are enabled for a limited number of AdWords advertisers who have created content-rich ads in the past. They expect to offer Gadget Ads to other advertisers in the future as the beta progresses.  Stay tuned!

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