Google targets $7 billion outdoor ad market

Google aims to expand its 'targeted, measurable advertising.'
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

I often underscore that Google aims to bring its brand of “targeted, measurable advertising” to every media, every sector, in every country.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has indicated:

We're thinking about using our advertising system and our targetability for every form of advertising.

He also has proudly noted: “we've got a good shot at it.”

Every form of advertising includes outdoor advertising. The out-of-home advertising market is estimated at about $7 billion.

Google has been targeting the outdoor advertising opportunity since at least June 2005, when it filed a patent application for “Systems and methods for allocating space for advertisements in a network of electronic display devices.”

In June 2006, I presented Schmidt’s vision for the day when an in-car radio ad would personally direct him to turn at an upcoming clothing store to purchase the pair of pants he lacked (see “Google targets GPS-based in-car personalized advertising”).

I believe Schmidt’s radio vision may incorporate a “one-two punch,” advertising punch that is.

The Google patent application contemplates:

Attribute information indicating retailer and categories of products available for purchase in the vicinity of a display device is maintained for each device in a database.

In other words, while Schmidt hears an in-car radio ad for a pair of pants, he may simultaneously see a highway billboard signaling that pants in his size are indeed in-stock at the upcoming clothing store.

The Google patent application indicates:

Electronic billboard-based distributed advertising network for performing intelligent allocation of advertising space; a plurality of displays geographically distributed throughout an area, such as, a shopping area, a city, a region, a state. Each display may communicate with an advertising server over a communication network. The communications network may be a distributed public network such as the Internet, a private network such as a W-LAN, or other suitable communication network. The individual displays may communicate with the advertising server to receive advertisements.

Google may envisage a dual radio-billboard advertising combo pitch, but such a scenario is unlikely to be realized anytime soon.

Google is still fine tuning its radio strategy. Next week will mark the one-year anniversary of its dMarc Broadcasting acquisition, but the company has yet to formally announce the availability of Google Audio Ads.



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