Do you remember that episode of “Frasier” when the star and his brother planned a dinner party? Frasier and Niles didn’t like all of the other’s guest choices, so they agreed each one could veto any three potential guests. They then did so at their respective whims, gleefully shouting “blackball” as they tossed a black marble into a bowl.
I felt a little bit like Frasier and Niles when I tested the Google TV Ads system last week.
Because Google TV Ads has the power of the blackball in it. The system now lets advertisers pick and choose specific psychographic segments to target for TV spots. If you’re the advertiser, you can select the audience you want to reach by choosing different attributes such as age, gender, income and interests. But then—and here’s the joy of the blackball—you can just willy-nilly block or add certain networks or programs. Want “The Office” in the mix? Then add it. No interest in having your spots run in “That ’70s Show”? Then give it the old heave-ho, all from the privacy of your computer screen.
After I got over the heady rush of power—ditching Bloomberg, adding MTV, giving the boot to “American Idol”—I got down to the real work of planning a mock TV ad campaign.
I decided to tinker around with the system because I can see a day when Google runs all ads on television. What, you think that sounds crazy? I know the system is relatively new and the search giant has inked TV ad deals with only a handful of programmers and distributors, among them NBC Universal, Hallmark Channel and EchoStar. Still, I don’t want to bet against Google.
The first step to using Google TV Ads is to have a Google Ad Words account.
Google Ad Words is the system by which advertisers bid on search terms for a search marketing campaign. Since Google Ad Words is effectively the engine for Google TV Ads, you start there.
Sign up for an account or log in. Then you arrive on a campaign summary page listing how much money you have spent on Google campaigns for online, print and television, broken down via each medium. You can view the campaigns together or separately according to various time frames, such as all time, yesterday, last seven days, this month, last month or a specific date range.
You then can view the results from each campaign by daypart, network, CPM or cost. If you want to change the time frame, price or network in an ad buy, you simply click on “edit settings.”
From there you can enter how much you want to spend in total, how much you want to spend each day, your maximum CPM or other data points.
For instance, if I want to spend $100 a day and pay no more than a $3 CPM, well, let’s just say my bid would be too low for most cable networks. But if I raise my CPM to $10, even $15, I’m within striking distance of a decent buy.
Anyway, it’s fun to poke around and see how the system works. And if you don’t, well, don’t say I didn’t warn you when Google takes over the world.