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Google Hawking MPI Home Video

10 Jan, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

While Google Inc. may be eying a stake in the movie business and alternative distribution channels of digital media, it is also going old school.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based Internet search behemoth has begun buying up unsold classified ad space in national magazines and newspapers and filling it with its own relevant third-party ads, including DVD.

The ads — run under an Ads by Google banner — are part of a test program Google launched last month, according to a spokesperson.

“This limited test is part of Google's effort to develop new ways to provide effective and useful advertising to advertisers, publishers and users,” spokesperson Mike Mayzel. “Late last year we ran a test in PC Magazine, Maximum PC, also Budget Living. Advertisers and publishers have reacted favorably to our initial test, and we are exploring various ways to continue experimenting with ads in print media.”

One of the Google spots placed in the Chicago Sun-Times was from Orland Park-based MPI Home Video, whose ad for the Chicago Bears' “Super Bowl Shuffle” DVD has been part of Google's AdWords supplement.

Google reportedly invited the company to participate free in the test because its ad, which had been on Google for the previous 15 months, had drawn a high number of hits, according to a report by AdAge.

An MPI spokeswoman said sales of the DVD increased about 50 percent after the print ad ran, although that figure may also have been boosted by the Bears' successful season and push into the NFL playoffs.

“We're very happy with the response,” she said.

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