- Google recently launched two separate advertising campaigns in support of its own services YouTube TV and Google Express, according to separate reports.
- YouTube is the presenting sponsor for the 2017 World Series and will run ads for YouTube TV during the Major League Baseball championship series, the first national advertising campaign for Google’s cable competition over-the-top (OTT) streaming service, per a report from Bloomberg. The ads will appear during the Fox game broadcasts and across MLB websites, apps and stadiums.
- The tech giant is also advertising its Google Express e-commerce and shipping service, a competitor to Amazon Prime, with a spot that includes Walmart, Target, Costco, Walgreens and PetSmart, as reported by Ad Age. The campaign will run on YouTube, social media platforms, Google’s display ad network and Android TV.
Clearly, the search giant has noticed Amazon's success with streaming content and Amazon Prime and throwing some of its significant cash reserves on advertising its own competing services, YouTubeTV and Google Express. Google's core search business is facing pressure from the growth of search on mobile, where search ads typically cost less, and the proliferation of voice- and visual-driven search through digital assistants for the former and image recognition technology the latter. Amazon happens to be a leader in both these areas via its digital assistant Alexa and its mobile app, which was one of the first to offer the ability to point a phone at an item and finding it or something similar on Amazon. Both visual search and voice search are growing quickly.
Google, which offers its own voice search service through its Home assistant, wants to make sure consumers know how easy it is to order through a variety of retailers on its shopping platform, which is integrated with Home. Google is taking a more home-grown approach to its Google Express campaign by mostly relying on its own ad platforms for the spot. But, without directly naming Amazon, Google did manage to line up a murderer’s row of Amazon’s retail competition for the spot. Walmart partnered with Google Express in August per Ad Age and Home Depot is reportedly coming to the service later this year.
YouTube TV launched in March in only five markets, but it now reaches 49 of the top 50 U.S. markets, making a national ad campaign with the reach of a World Series sponsorship part of a strategy to make people aware of the service as the number of OTT offerings proliferate. YouTube TV, while only one entrant in a very crowded market of streaming digital options looking to sign up cord cutters and never corders, is clearly betting on sporting events as a point of differentiation with some other services leaving out sports. Amazon Prime, which has a strong original content strategy, was the fastest growing of available streaming services a year ago, according to eMarketer, but the space is evolving so quickly its hard to know if this is still the case. Satellite providers like DirecTV and Dish have skinny bundle options for digital viewers, and YouTube TV has a number of OTT competitors as well.