Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Here's What a Display Ad in Your Gmail Looks Like

It looks like any other ad you’d typically ignore on the Web!

This screenshot comes from Greg Sterling at Search Engine Land, who got Google to acknowledge that yes, it is indeed playing around with conventional-looking Web ads in its mail service, which typically only offers text ads: “We’re always trying out new ad formats and placements in Gmail, and we recently started experimenting with image ads on messages with heavy image content.”

Sterling’s post sent many of us Web/ad nerds scurrying to our Gmail accounts to see if we could find evidence of Google’s experiment, but I have yet to see any others. If you find one, please pass it along to me at (peter@allthingsd.com) and I’ll share it with everyone else.

Here’s another example, courtesy of Shyam Somanadh. His pithy description: “First image ad in my Gmail right panel. I had a sudden Hotmail moment there.”

And a broken ad, from Nicholas Wilhelm’s phone:

And one from Hunter Hebert:

And Jeremy Day:

And Rob McAninch:


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus