Google the behamoth of search and search ads have decided to adopt the mantra 'ya gotta spend money to make money'. The company that rarely spends money on avertising, has decidecided it needs to get into advertising the fact that it's in the business of online display advertising.
And if advertising about advertising isn't enough they have decide to utilise one of the most crowded advertisng venue on the planet, namely - Times Square, NY.
For all of Googles success its revenue to date has fundamentally been driven by the four line text ads that appear within their search results, whilst the Google display ads which include images, video, audio and the ads that appear on YouTube and the 'too many to count' Web sites that utilise the Google display network garner far less attention.
It is this seeming "lack of attention" that frustrates Google so in response, yesterday, Google erected a billboard in the centre of Manhattan - having to compete for attention with the hundreds of other flashing and blinking bill boards Google have had the foresight to site it lower to the ground and invite the passing public to 'touch' the screen and watch vids explaining the display ad business.
The billboard has a message for Madison Avenue, Wall street and beyond; Google is a business beyond search.
Whilst display advertising has been around for over ten years there's still a lot of room in the market to make some significant money, Neal Mohan the VP of product management at Google said "One way we could express our confidence in the space (display) is to run what is primarily a display advertising campaign around our investment in the business and what our potential is."
There's obviously a real focus in this area at Google, their continuing acqusition of companies that allow them to build on its display business, from YouTube and DoubleClick through to Teracent and Invite Media and their commitment to newer technologies that enable easier campaign planning and the most contentious in Europe; remarketing.
This is a developing area for Google and I suggest one to watch as to where they go next.