Google has predicted advertisements could soon be featured on places such as refrigerators and watches, in a bid to capitalise on the roll-out of ‘smart’ appliances.
In a December 2013 letter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, released earlier this week, the tech giant said it expects to see itself and other companies develop advertising on devices beyond mobile phones.
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“We expect the definition of ‘mobile’ to continue to evolve as more and more ‘smart’ devices gain traction in the market,” the letter reads.
“For example, a few years from now, we and other companies could be serving ads and other content on refrigerators, car dashboards, thermostats, glasses and watches, to name just a few possibilities,” said the company.
In the letter, Google described this approach as “device-agnostic”. This means rather than traditional desktop or tablet marketing campaigns, advertisers’ campaigns will not be tied to a particular device.
Michelle Gamble, founder and chief executive of Marketing Angels, told SmartCompany she isn’t shocked by Google’s suggestion that advertising could intrude further into the home.
“I think we’re already seeing it,” says Gamble.
“It’s the price you pay for having amazing technology offered to you very cheaply. As things have gotten cheaper and moved to the cloud, you’re starting to see advertising being integrated into your applications more and more,” she says.
Gamble says consumers could react negatively at first, but examples such as Facebook jumping on the advertising bandwagon show that if the product is good enough, people will eventually get used to the idea.
“I think there will be a bunch of early adopters that will rally against it, but much like anything else they’ll eventually accept it,” says Gamble.
“Consumers are always going to protest against more advertising. But they’re certainly not going to stop paying for a service they’re hooked on,” she says.
They key here is striking a balance between the advertiser and consumer, says Gamble.
“One thing Google has always done though is put the user first,” she says. “They’re great at technology and rolling out new ideas, and quickly canning them if they don’t work. I’m sure they’ll somehow find the right balance between pushing advertising onto the consumer and interrupting the consumer too much.”