Google (GOOG), the search and advertising giant, is always looking for ways to increase its control of the online advertising market. Today the company is launching a new effort to turn widgets into ads. A select group of brand advertisers are working with Google on special Google gadgets (widgets) that iGoogle users can place on their Google homepage.
The idea is not much different than the Sony Pictures’ Spiderman ads that were cooked up by Photobucket and placed on MySpace pages earlier this year. (The ads caused a massive fracas that ultimately resulted in MySpace buying the photo-sharing service.)
Gadget ads can incorporate real-time data feeds, images, video and much more in a single creative unit and can be developed using Flash, HTML or a combination of both. Designed to act more like content than a typical ad, they run on the Googleâ„¢ content network, competing alongside text, image and video ads for placement.
While Google is currently shying away from placing these widget ads on other networks and sites, there is nothing stopping it from extending this program to MySpace. It has, after all, made a $900 million commitment to Fox’s interactive properties.