Remember Google’s acquisition of Nest earlier this year? Looks like their master plan includes putting ads on your thermostat. And your smart fridge. Your glasses. Oh, and your car dashboard. Text and drive? Bad. Drive and get deluged with ads? Hmm, that works…
Google revealed in a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it hopes to place ads on ad-free objects such as your fridge or thermostat.
“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,” the company wrote.
Why was Google telling the SEC this? Well, it’s trying to explain to the SEC why it doesn’t need to tell investors the size of its mobile business. The definition of ‘mobile’ is one that changes quickly. What if ads are placed on your refrigerator or watch or car dashboard? Is that mobile? Google believes using mobile would be “misleading and confusing” to investors.
“Our expectation is that users will be using our services and viewing our ads on an increasingly wide diversity of devices in the future, and thus our advertising systems are becoming increasingly device-agnostic,” the company wrote.
“Enhanced Campaigns allows our advertisers to write one ad campaign, which we serve dynamically to the right user at the right time on whatever device makes the most sense.”
I see Google’s point, but at the same time you have to give investors the information in an easy to digest way. It can’t be ‘fridge ad-revenue rises 8% while CPC on glasses fall $0.10.’ Your quarterly report will be as big as a dictionary.
So, ads on your fridge and thermostats. What they should do is PSAs. Hey man, you opened the fridge five times in the past hour. Are you serious? Or, if you insist on making Al Gore cry by having the thermostat at 65 degrees in the summer, it laughs alongside you.
Consumers should expect that along with smart appliances comes the ads. Google and other services know more about you than the NSA. They may not drone strike you, but they will damn sure serve up ads.