Posted September 19, 2007 12:01 am by with 24 comments

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image Google has just announced the limited launch of Google Gadget Ads, a new interactive ad format that will run on their content network. Unlike Google AdWords’ existing array of text, video and graphical ads, Google Gadget Ads are designed to be interactive, can be built using HTML or Flash, and support both cost-per-click (CPC) and cost-per-impression (CPM) pricing models (more specs here).

Here’s the rundown on Google Gadget Ads:

  • The ads are interactive
  • Google Gadget Ads can incorporate real-time data feeds
  • Different targeting options – contextual, site, geographic, and demographic
  • Built on an open platform – open to anyone
  • They can be placed on any web page, including iGoogle
  • Detailed interaction reports – track dozens of actions within each ad unit

Here’s an example of a Google Gadget Ad from Intel:

(More Google Gadget Ads examples here)

Google Gadget Ads is currently operating in beta which means its open only to a select number AdWords advertisers. Companies lucky enough to be in on the first round, include Pepsi-Cola North America’s Sierra Mist, Intel, Honda, Six Flags and Paramount Vantage.

Pepsi-Cola seems particularly pleased with the initial results.

“We’re always looking for new ways to engage with our consumers,” said John Vail, director, interactive marketing, Pepsi-Cola North America in a statement. “Google Gadget Ads allowed us to reach the right audience at the right time, with an interactive message that brought our light-hearted Sierra Mist campaign, ‘Squeeze More out of Summer,’ to life.”

Is it any surprise that Google is keen to monetize widgets? There’s more than enough widgets being pumped out onto the web, with comScore reporting their popularity growth. And there are also plenty of evidence that advertising in widgets works–companies like LinkShare, PopShops, and ShareASale are already in the space.

So, if you’re already sick of seeing gadgets/widgets all over the web, prepare yourself. Now that advertisers have a solid advertising platform to monetize them, you can expect to see a whole lot more.