Wednesday 16 December 2009

Bringing Contextual Advertising into Real Life

OK.  So I'm standing at Wet Hamster zoned out waiting for my delayed (surprise) train when I realise what I'm looking at.  An ad for Google Chrome.

I love Chrome.  In development circles chrome refers to all the fancy bells and whistles in the user interface.  All the bells and whistles that Google have got rid of in their bare bones lightning fast browser.

Given that Chrome's promise (which it delivers) is speed, it seems ironic that this ad has been put on the platform of the worst performing train franchise in th UK.  The first thought is ironic coincidence, then the next thought is "what if this is deliberate?".  We are used  to stupid billboards. Any relevance is purely coincidental.  But this is Google. These guys know a scary amount about who we are, what we like and where we live.  These are the guys that put personally targeted advertising in front of us every day.  These are the one company in the world that I feel actually have the smarts to be behind a conspiracy theory.

If they have deliberately put these ads up on First Capital Connect platforms to target pissed off commuters experiencing real world delays every day, providing us with a promise of reduced delays in the virtual world, then I salute them.

Hats off to you Google.  You are the smartest guys around.  My earlier tweet "Google: pumping shit into the intertubes and seeing what sticks" is intended as a compliment.  Google foster innovation and produce good ideas at the speed of light.  Many of them fail, but some do not and if that leads to gmail, maps, reader, wave, etc then I say Bravo.