Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Google Sells Advertising to Advertisers

times-squareGoogle is the most successful advertising company in history. So why is it spending money trying to convince advertisers to spend even more money online?

Google (GOOG), in conjunction with ad agency heavyweight WPP, is plowing $4.6 million into a three-year research program on “how ads in traditional and digital media work together to influence consumer choices,” the WSJ reports.

Translation: Everyone knows that Google’s searchs ads work great when people are searching for stuff. But marketers have yet to be convinced that online ads can help consumers buy stuff they didn’t want, or at least didn’t know they want.

It’s the paradox of online advertising. The Web generates much more sophisticated and accurate tracking data for marketers than traditional advertising ever did. But while an advertiser can’t really be sure exactly how many people saw its TV ad for laundry detergent, many feel more comfortable spending money on a TV campaign than a Web one because they think they know what they’re getting.

And if Google and WPP can convince them otherwise, they’ll get credit for one of the great campaigns in advertising history.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik