Make no mistake about it; the Google Gadget Ad is dangerous. Google is stepping firmly into the banner display ad market and it is pushing a new, innovative format. While we've seen a lot of bellyaching in recent weeks that Google has the potential to be an innovative and disruptive software company (I agree with people like my colleague John Soat that it does), for now Google is still an ad company. And it knows how to disrupt ad markets.
Check out the cacophony of praise for Google's trials with Gadget Ads. Check out the names of agencies and clients: Paramount Vintage & MB, Honda & RPA, Sierra Mist & Tribal DDB, Six Flags & neo Ogilvy, the list goes on. Of course, this is Google's sales pitch, but still. It's impressive.
And that isn't all. Google also launched the mobile version of AdSense this week. While Yahoo has offered mobile ads commercially for the last six months, Google's brand and online market share could allow it to eclipse Yahoo's mobile offering pretty quickly.
When you combine the prospect of a innovative new form of display advertising with Google's pending closure of its deal for DoubleClick and an aggressive push into the fast-emerging mobile ad market, you can see that Google is ready to bring down the hammer on the online ad market.
If I were either Yahoo or MSN, I'd be pretty scared right about now.