Google Video Ads May Accelerate Paid Media Advertising Death Spiral

Michael Arrington is betting against Google’s new pay-per-click video ad program, and so am I, but it’s even worse than Google failing (again) to break into “traditional” advertising. Focus on Mike’s reason #4:

Fourth, people don’t want to click on video ads. They don’t want to watch this stuff at all, really. And if a company comes up with a really cool ad, like Honda’s wonderful “Cog� ad, it’ll spread virally. They don’t need to pay users to watch it.

Google’s video ad program will shine a spotlight on the dirty little secret of TV (i.e. video) advertising — most video ads have NO VALUE to consumers. DVR ad-skipping technology is such a threat to TV ads because TV ads SUCK. They interrupt, they annoy, they pander, they convey no useful information.

Unlike Google’s wildly successful text ads, which revolutionized advertising by conveying discrete chunks of information that consumers could evaluate without feeling mugged, video ads are all about advertiser vanity and ad agency profits.

Mike raises the example of Honda’s “Cog” ad, which is a rare form of video ad — one that actually entertains and thus has value as content, such that the marketing is incidental — and thus highly effective.

For pay-per-click video ads to be effective, they must have standalone value as content — and if they have standalone value as content, consumers will seek them out WITHOUT A PAID MEDIA INTERMEDIARY like Google or a TV network.

Marketing through video content may thrive on the Web — but in a networked 2.0 media world, brands will learn that if they create compelling content and compelling experiences, they won’t have to pay intermediaries to force the content on unsuspecting consumers.