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October 24, 2007

Google, Facebook Get Smart with Targeted Advertising

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Google is trying to find out what viewers are doing when ads appear on their television screen, Facebook is targeting women between the ages of 20-30 getting married in Orlando, Florida and interested in snorkeling, and we’re being taunted with rumors of another AdSense-killer. What’s going on?

Google Makes Nielsen Its New BFF

Search marketing blogs are overflowing with the news that Google and Nielsen have "entered into a strategic relationship" and it’s all very secret sounding. Or at least it would be if wasn’t all over TechMeme.

According to the coverage, Google has made Nielsen its new BFF, partnering with them to get their demographic data which Google will then use to get a better understanding of who is watching their ads and for how long they’re sticking around. Good stuff. Personally, I’d be interested in how things like TiVo are affecting ads. I’ve watched television with Susan. She fast forwards right through that crap. Does everyone?

I don’t know, but I guess Google soon will. This information, combined with the second-by-second reporting they get from their EchoStar and Astound Cable deals, will help them bring the same accountability and tools to television ads that they get with online ads. Or at least that’s the goal.

That’s all well and good and I’m sure the advertisers are salivating already, but I’m still not totally psyched about television ads. This is 2007, not 1987. I’d also like to know how Google’s deal with Dish and that Bay Area company they partnered with is going. We haven’t heard much of anything. What’s the deal with that?

Facebook Flyers Target by Interest, Relationship Status, Location

TechCrunch reports that Facebook is now experimenting with their Facebook Flyers ad units, allowing advertisers to target their ads by an extensive list of factors, including country, gender, age range, political views, relationship status, education level or even any keyword listed in their interests. You can see how this would be a very attractive offer to advertisers. Marriage vendors can target those listed as engaged, health food suppliers can target those interested in physical fitness, the local fair can advertise to those located in a selected geographic location and Susan can get ads targeted at people with no personality at all. Everybody wins!

The reach of the flyers is still pretty small, but if advertisers start seeing success with them, who knows? Definitely something interesting to watch, especially in light of that other ad announcement they have coming…

Big Facebook Ad Announcement Coming Nov. 6th

AdAge reveals that several advertisers and agencies have been invited to a "discussion" being held Nov. 6 (presumably in time for Ad:Tech NY) where Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will "unveil a new way of advertising online". The early buzz is that this "new way" of advertising includes allowing advertisers to use the data that Facebook members offer up about themselves in their member profiles to target them off the site, like some sort of syndication deal. Do you know what that sounds like? It sounds like a competitor to AdSense. You can cut the tension with a knife!

Obviously, everyone in the Facebook camp is being very tight lipped until the November meeting, but that’s not going to stop people from speculating. Radar has a list of nine advertisers who have reportedly shelled over a bunch of money to be invited into the "Landmark Partners" program, including Condé Nast, Nike, Apple, Sony, General Motors, Coke, CBS, Chase, and Verizon.

With big brand companies putting faith (and dollars) into a Facebook-designed competitor to Google AdSense, this is definitely one to watch. And if Facebook does launch a new online advertising platform, what does that mean to the new deal they just signed with Microsoft? Would their ad platform compete with adCenter or would the two combine efforts to take on Google?

When did online advertising get so juicy?

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