US: Google launched a new mobile advertising product this week, allowing marketers to embed maps within expandable ad units, and to target those ads based on users’ immediate location. The addition to the search giant’s AdWords platform essentially enables advertisers to feature their Google business listing and phone number within an expandable ad unit, which will appear across mobile sites and applications in Google’s display network.
Upon expansion the ads pinpoint the business location on a map, along with a click-to-call phone number, and an option to request turn-by-turn directions. Advertisers are only charged when a user chooses to call the business or visit its website, but not when users expand the ad to view the map information or access directions.
Announcing the format in a blog post, Dai Pham, a member of Google’s mobile ads marketing team, said the company believed providing mobile users with more calls to action and more options to connect with advertisers would help increase their interaction with the new format. Because of the nature of the ads, they are likely to appeal mainly to local advertisers, or national advertisers with local presences such as retailers or restaurants.
For targeting purposes, a Google spokesperson said, “The Expandable Maps format uses IP to show ads based on geographic location; if users opt-in to share more precise geographic information, with services such as Google’s ‘My Location’, we may serve ads based on these signals on mobile devices.”
Currently the formats will only appear on high-end mobile devices with full internet browsers, such as Apple’s iPhone and devices running Google’s own Android mobile operating system.