Natural Search Blog

Guerilla Marketing & Google Maps

My article on “Six Odd Tactics For Getting Ads Into Google Maps” posted today on Search Engine Land, and I believe many of my regular readers should find it moderately entertaining. The piece covers how some elements of guerrilla marketing have found their way into some Google Maps advertising patents, and also how some others have used creative means to get messages into Maps via “roofvertising”, “skywriting” and more.

Google in Digital Graffiti

Those familiar with Natural Search Blog may remember some of my similar past work here outlining laser graffiti ads on buildings, roofvertising, marriage proposals in Google Maps, “earth art” geoglyph ads, and sponsoring town names as an Ultimate Local SEO tactic.

It’s not surprising to see guerilla marketing tactics finding their way into Google Maps. Not only does Google itself seek to introduce disruptive technology innovations, but I expect that as Satellite and Aerial photos may get more frequently updated in such interfaces we’ll be bound to see a whole lot more efforts from people trying to get messages conveyed through the Maps interfaces.

The real question I’m left with, is if Google resells ad space on pictures of people’s rooftops and billboards, would they owe anything back to the original property owners?!?

Google Maps could be chocked full-O-ads

I was glancing at Google Maps of Tokyo when I noticed just how many ads they have running in them! I can see icons for all sorts of chain restaurants for instance, including: McDonald’s, Baskin-Robbins, 7-Eleven, Royal Host, Mini Stop, Taco John’s, Denny’s, KFC, ampm, etc.

Ads in Google Maps, Tokyo
(click to enlarge)

Now, we’ve already seen ads in Google Maps here in America, but in a much more limited deployment:

Google Maps Ads in the US
(click to enlarge)

The Tokyo map ads are not clickable like the ads in the states.

What’s really different with the Tokyo map is the density of ads within the maps is much greater, and there seems to be much more variety of companies advertising. I can only see this as the likely future for Google Maps here in the US, too — more ads, from more companies.

UPDATE 3/18/2010: Mike Blumenthal reports on how icon ads have been added to Google Maps in Australia.

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