Sep 21, 2007

The Google Effect

So today Google unveiled a tool that allows companies to create their own print ads. You fill in the templates, upload an image and presto-change-o, the ad is transported to up to 450 newspapers across the USA.

Not something big agencies need to worry about, but if I was a small local shop, I’d be worried.

I’m talking the type of shops who are basically media placement agencies who also do layouts as a favor to their clients. You know, the guys cranking out those ads for local car dealerships, small kitchen tile chains, suburban realtors and the like that appear in your local newspaper or on late night TV.

Because if Google can help these sorts of clients create ads that are both cheaper and better looking that what they have going now, they’re going to bite.

The main hurdle (for Google) is that these sorts of businesses are often run by the planet’s most hands-on clients: they’re entrepreneurs and it’s hard for them to let go of the reins even when it comes to a quarter page ad in a suburban pennysaver.

So I’ll be curious to see if the amount of customization Google offers is enough to allow them to feel in control or if they’ll prefer to stay with their local agencies where they can demand that the logo be “the exact same fucking shade of red as my husband’s Porsche.”

Time will tell.


Anonymous said...

But then, everything becomes the same in terms of the look, paving the way for ads that don't look like that. Google's advantage is obviously that they are everywhere. All they're doing here is what those smaller traditional agencies you mention did for years: throw in the creative for free.

Alan Wolk said...

MTLB: I think it's safe to say that local car dealer and realtor ads already do all look pretty much the same. And that Google's templates certainly aren't going to make them look any worse.