Google and its TV Ads Program

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG205
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2006-2008
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Google Inc.
Industry : IT, Advertising, Television
Countries : USA, Global

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

In 1996, two computer science graduate students from Stanford University, Larry Page (Page) and Sergey Brin (Brin) developed a search engine they called BackRub. In 1997, they renamed it Google, a word derived from a mathematical term Googol, which represents the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros...

Entering New Media

In 2006, Google's annual revenue from core search and contextual ad listings was around US$ 10 billion. In order to grow further, the company announced plans to enter the advertising arena in media like print newspapers, radio, and television...

Bringing it out of Beta

In March 2008, Google invited a select group of AdWords advertisers to participate in the test phase of the Google TV Ads program. The advertisers were invited to upload or mail a 15-, 30-, 45-, or 60-second TV ad to be run on TV. Google stated that this was part of its efforts to bring the Google TV Ads program out of the test phase...

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Benefits All Around?

Google expected regular advertisers on TV to use its services to evaluate the effectiveness of their ads. If they found them to be low in effectiveness, they could use the data provided by Google to create ads that were more relevant to the target audience...


Despite these positives, the Google TV Ads program failed to take off in a big way. For the success of the program, Google needed to work out agreements with satellite and cable companies, for access to set-top boxes, but failed in its attempts to do so...


Google failed to attract many satellite and cable companies to join its program. Some of these companies had their own plans to develop systems using the data from set top boxes to enable targeted advertising...


As of 2008, Google was working to rope in more TV networks to sell their ads through its program. Google dismissed the misgivings of some TV networks that the auction of TV ads would bring down prices. Steib said, "What the auction will yield is the market price, and that's pretty much what people are already paying."...


Exhibit I: Google: Financial Information
Exhibit II: Some Screenshots from the Google TV Ads Program
Exhibit III: Partners in Canoe
Exhibit IV: A Comparison of the Services of Google and Spot Runner

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