Online giant Google is trying to move beyond its core search business, and beyond the web in general. A big part of that effort is Google TV Ads, a program that allows you to launch a national television ad campaign through the AdWords interface.
The program has been in private testing mode since June of last year, and it’s now open to the public. For a limited time, Google is offering a particularly eye-catching way to sweeten the deal — if advertisers hire producers through Google’s Ad Creation Marketplace to make their commercials, Google will cover the production cost. (Well, for up to $2,000.)
Through its AdWords program, Google was one of the first companies to find success in online advertising, but television ads (which are valued at around $55 billion) remain the vast heart of the industry.
Google says its system makes the TV ad process more accountable and measurable. Google TV Ads works through an auction model, where advertisers state the most they’re willing to pay on a cost-per-thousand impressions basis, and don’t pay until the ad airs.
Once advertisers create their 30-second ads and identify their target audience demographic, AdWords will make recommendations about where and when their commercials should run. Advertisers can also buy ads to run during specific TV shows.
There is a pretty big catch, however: The Dish satellite TV network appears to be the only company that will allow Google to install its tracking service, which means that Google’s TV ads are limited to Dish’s 14 million subscribers for now. Competitors include Project Canoe, which is sponsored by a number of cable companies, and startup Spot Runner, which helps businesses buy local TV advertising.