Google & Nielsen Have a New Plan for Lab Rats

lab ratsGrowing up in Palm Desert, California had its perks, but with summer temperatures reaching into the 120’s we didn’t spend much time outside. Instead of burning our feet on the pavement, the kids I babysat for and I would sit in front of the television for 9 hours a day flipping between the Price Is Right and Jerry Springer (Disclaimer: I only was paid $3.00 an hour, which is not enough money to include physical movement.)

All summer long our TV viewing choices were being recorded by a little box on top of their television set; I happened to baby-sit for a “Nielsen Family”.

I hadn’t thought about the Nielsen Company in years, until Google announced its partnership with them last week. Google and the Nielsen Company are teaming up to monitor our every move as we flip through our favorite television programs.

Google will soon know, down to the second, which commercials you flipped channels during and which ads held your attention. This analysis will not only help commercial creators pinpoint where their creative work loses a viewer’s interest, but also measure the audience size.

Google’s endeavor with Nielsen is an attempt to better direct commercials to the proper audience.

The partnership is currently in beta testing, allowing only a restricted amount of advertisers to take part in the “spying” on our commercial viewing habits. Don’t worry if you’re not currently included in the beta testing, I’m sure Google will soon find a way to make it into all of our homes.

Google TV Ads will run similarly to the well known Google AdWords program. Like internet advertisers, television advertisers will have the opportunity to buy and sell ad space. Television advertisers will now have a chance to pinpoint which channels and programs they want their ads to run during and analyze how viewers react to their commercials.

When my dad was completing his undergraduate degree he worked in a lab where they ran tests on mice. I’m starting to wonder if this is how the mice felt.

Please stay tuned: Google will soon be announcing its partnership with Pinky and the Brain to, “Try To Take Over The World.”