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How do they plan to handle malls?? Steve Hall reports in AdRants Daily today that after a six month test in Australia, Google has opened up a new ad platform on its Maps product. Brands can place a logo on their locations within the application. The logos will replace the standard grey logos which already appear in the product.

The program is rolling out initially with four advertisers according to Advertising Age. Bank of America, Target, Public Storage and HSBC have signed on for the beta period. Soon, all. businesses will be able to claim their space on Maps. Currently the program is available on web versions of the product with mobile to soon follow.

Speaking with Advertising Age, Google product manager Matt Leske assured the product won’t turn into a jumble of logos saying, “Advertisers can’t pay to increase their prominence or whether or not they appear on the map. We look at the way people search for that business online and we look at what area people are looking at and what zoom level.”

In this mocked-up photo, everything seems very orderly, but as this catches on, can you imagine what this might look like? (Fast forward to 28th Street in GR) And how will they handle malls or locations with several businesses – insets? At some point there may be a need to limit the number of purchased “space” in a given area lest we want Maps to begin to look like the Yellow Pages with every last car wash, local dentist and massage parlor getting in the way of simply using the product for what it’s good at: getting you from point A to point B.

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