Advertising is morphing and evolving at a rapid pace. That pace still hasn’t moved the online space too far down its own evolutionary road yet. That is at least according to Nikesh Arora, president of Google’s sales operations. In an interview with the Financial Times he gave some insight into how the online advertising world is shaping up and the role that Google intends to play in it.
Oh, the reference to Barbie? Here is how Mr. Arora sees the current state of online advertising when he compares it to the history of advertising as a whole.
He has been watching – on Google’s YouTube video site – a 1959 television ad for Barbie dolls. “There’s still a guy moving the Barbie doll in the ad and a radio jingle playing. We all say: ‘How could they think that was a good TV ad?’ – but that’s sort of where we are. We’re still moving the Barbie doll with our hands.”
I get that. Sometimes I even wish we might go back to that every once in a while. Essentially, Arora and others at Google are convinced, and probably rightly so, that right now the online space is simply repeating what TV has done but that this attempt at ‘advertising’ is selling the Internet medium short. In other words, there is so much more that can be done. As you might expect Google intends to be there at the forefront.
Some more of Arora’s thoughts
Mr Arora is keen to recast the online advertising debate in a way that could increase the share of advertising budgets available to the search engine operator.
“The whole idea of online advertising is going to go away in the next few years,” he says. “We’ll stop talking about online advertising and talk about advertising. Radio, print, TV are all getting distributed over [internet protocol], so those distinctions will vanish at some point in time.”
That will be a brave new world for marketers, advertisers and consumers alike. With purchases like DoubleClick and more including mobile play Admob (which has its own issues apparently) Google is positioned to be a leader in the movement. And, as will likely be the modus operandi of all Google interactions with the press, Mr. Arora talked about relationships with publishers improving and that Google is the ultimate partner.
“We give $5bn-$6bn away to partners of the $20bn we make,” Mr Arora notes, adding that it has stepped up its “research online purchase offline” studies, which analyse how search behaviour affects buying.
How thoughtful! And to wrap up that thought so that no one will get too suspicious about Google’s plans for world domination Mr. Arora goes all “Aw shucks!” on us with this one.
“Fundamentally, we’re a tech company . . . You show up with a huge technological problem, we’re going to get totally turned on by it.”
I am no code cracker but I think “technological problem” is Googlespeak for “huge pile of money”. Your thoughts?