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the Big Blog Company | Marketers eager For Google IM
“Who yer callin' a sparrow, you schmuck?!”
The bird on the back.
August 26 2005
Marketers eager For Google IM
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • Marketing & PR 
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I have now installed Google Talk as a proper geek and testing it with my gmail-owning friends… (by the way, the quality of the voice was nowhere near as good as on Skype). I have no plans to move away from Skype that has won my affection over the year I have been using it.

The new Google IM application isn’t yet ad-supported. But if and when Google is ready to monetize it with ads, it doesn’t look like there will be any shortage of marketers. Carat Interactive media buyer Sarah Fay said her agency has placed ads on all the major IM networks.

We’re big fans of it, and we’re using all of the IM products of the other providers of that platform. We would be just as likely to use Google as another IM property--if they get themselves to the same level of usage as the others.

Other instant messaging services have a multitude of ads. America Online’s AIM, for instance, displays banner ads above users’ contact lists. At MSN, users can download “skins,” which will brand their contact list and message windows.

It is the users choice to display skins to their contacts that one of the big draws of IM advertising, which is seen as giving the ads a ‘viral nature’.

As an ad vehicle, I’m a big fan of instant messenger. The proposition is, because it’s viral, and it’s chosen by the person who displays it on the IM screen, you gain an instant credibility.

I must be missing something here as I can’t see how the credibility is generated. So I like the colours or a look of some ‘skin’, choose it for my contacts to see, who know exactly what skins are available and what ads are pushed through them. Something here gets lost in translation, as choosing a particular ad sponsored skin is based on availability and (limited in my view) aesthetic preference, not a particular endorsement of that brand. But that’s may be just my geek side talking…

There is an interesting snippet among all this:

Still, it’s not clear that Google will allow display advertising on the product. Google Director of Product Management Georges Harik told OnlineMediaDaily that Google developers were not convinced that advertisements are the appropriate way to monetize an instant messaging service, and that the company is looking into ways to profit from the service “in a way that’s consistent with the user experience.”

I have a feeling that this view of user experience might subscribe to the don’t-push-the-bloody-adverts-at-me’ school of thought...?

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