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Video Ads Might Be A Huge Turn-off For Google

Posted by Bob Warfield on September 8, 2007

Apparently Google is toying with the idea of placing video ads alongside its normal search results.  They argue that video ads work better for some products than the normal textual ads, and they’re planning to insert some video inline anyway.

It will be interesting to see how well Google fares with this approach, although given their monopoly on search it may not matter too much.  My concern about it has to do with my theory of Web 2.0 Personality Styles.  Google was built on a particular set of Personality Styles:  Deferred+Watcher+FreeForm+Text.  Extending into other styles as an option accessed from a menu or other means is a great idea for Google.  But forcing people who prefer the Text mode to be exposed to video may be a real turn off for those folks.  How often do we hear that Google is valued over things like Tafiti because its a clean no-nonsense interface?  It certainly makes the ads more intrusive, even if you like video.

Ryan Stewart says:

The web is becoming a richer place and that is driven by users. If Google can monetize that then it will encourage that “rich ecosystem”.

The web is a richer place, but that doesn’t mean everyone wants all the richness all the time.  Folks like Scoble have seen huge backlash when they try to switch a bunch of readers who came in loving text over to video.  If you believe in Web 2.0 Personality Styles, you should be trying to broaden your reach to more styles without forcing a given style down anyone’s throat.  That means you have to offer choice.

Google’s monopoly is so extreme it probably won’t matter, but it will be interesting to see what the reactions are.

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