Go go Google Gadget Ads!

Google's AdWords has a new gadget with some engaging possibilities for targeting users with interactive campaigns.

Google has launched a new interactive ad unit called the Google Gadget Ad, now in expanded beta with a select group of AdWords advertisers worldwide. Unlike static advertising, the gadget ads have interactive and rich media capabilities that allow users to engage with the creative. They can include real-time data feeds, images and video using Flash, HTML or both.

The gadget ads are designed to act more like content than ads, competing alongside text, image and video ads for placement on Google’s network. Both cost-per-click and cost-per-impression pricing models are supported. Contextual, site, geographic and demo targeting options are also part of the package. Users can build communities around the ads by sharing them and placing them on personalized iGoogle pages.

Preliminary brand advertisers have included Pepsi-Cola North America’s Sierra Mist, Intel, Honda, Six Flags and Paramount Vantage. More than 50 brands participated in testing this summer. Honda, for example, sponsored a tour by Fall Out Boy with an ad that provided regular updates on the tour. Users could pick up the ad and drag it to their own iGoogle pages. Some users sent questions to the band, and Fall Out Boy responded via video within the creative.

The beta was limited to advertisers in US, UK, Japan, Germany, and Brazil. Google says it anticipates that Canadian customers will participate in the expanded the beta.