Google doesn't really need TV. But it would really like to sell many more TV ads -- and maybe use TV to market more of itself.
Until recently, Google hadn't been using what people believe is still the most powerful advertising medium. But with spots featuring Lady Gaga and others, and a modest overall TV marketing budget of around $100 million, Google now doesn't think TV is all that bad.
When it come to selling television -- that is, actual traditional TV commercial inventory -- Google TV Ads hasn't made any really big headlines of late. But maybe it is just doing a quiet job. One of the business’ biggest high-profile clients – a group of NBC Universal’s under-selling, new niche cable networks -- pulled out some time ago.
Yet, Google TV Ads still claim access to a bunch of big-name networks -- ESPN, TNT and CNN -- through local avails from the likes of DirecTV, Dish, and Verizon FiOS. Google TV Ads says it can get to 100-plus networks -- but not via traditional national TV coverage -- with some 35 million homes.
Still, Google promises more -- in terms of return on investment, set-top box measurement and quick, next-day, post-analysis data -- than some of the national TV networks.
That said, the current modestly strong TV advertising market would seem to favor TV networks that can handle the sales themselves -- pulled, of course, by a fuller national TV network footprint.
Even with Google TV, the big digital media behemoth might be in no hurry when it comes to making its next TV-related move. It can lie in the weeds and more finely tune and sell --- and mostly market -- via the Internet.
But there is one area it might like to revisit. Nearly two years ago, it made a big splash by buying a Super Bowl spot.
Will Google be back in the game -- that is, looking to again leverage the marketing power of the biggest TV event of the year? Seems that it wants to come out and play.