Marketing Toolkit for Energy Advertisers

Global climate change.  Fuel prices.  Oil profits.  Consumer and government pressures.  Oil company marketers face many challenges, and shaping public opinion around these brands requires a unique strategy.  The digital landscape is a vital component of such strategies, and Google offers a number of marketing solutions specifically for brands in this space. 

As an advertiser, you have a deep understanding of your brand’s challenges, as well as comprehensive programs for achieving brand goals.  Google can support these programs by providing a marketing toolkit filled with tools and technologies to help unlock the power of your ideas.

On this page, we will highlight the parts of our toolkit we think are most relevant to the Energy industry, share how other companies have used these tools, and provide idea starters for how you might leverage these within your marketing programs.


Google Gadget Definitions

Gadget - Mini-application that can live in a personalized environment, such as a user’s iGoogle homepage, Google desktop, the Macintosh Operating System, or any webpage.  

Gadget Ad - A gadget this is distributed as an ad unit across the web.

Gadget API - API defines framework for writing the gadget and includes a set of tools that make it easy to embed tabs, Flash content, automatic resizing and other features.


A gadget can employ any functionality found in a website.  Advertisers are currently using gadgets to share videos, conduct transactions, provide information feeds, showcase mashups, and gain user input through response forms.  This can all happen within the gadget.  For example, an airline might serve a gadget ad on travel sites so users can search flights as they read about their destinations.



Showcase: Nissan Live Traffic

Nissan, in an effort to provide a useful service to car owners and potential buyers, created a gadget that incorporates Google Maps' real-time traffic information within the context of a branded gadget.   To retrieve traffic information for her location, a user simply enters her zip code and the map presents the user with traffic information in her area. 

Useful Links


With this technology, a user’s digital brand experience is not predicated on a visit to the brand’s website.  Advertisers can “atomize and distribute” the key components of their brand’s online experience, bringing those experiences directly to wherever their target audience is already spending time.  


Gadgets are also viral.  Users can send links with compelling gadgets through email to their friends. Many view Google Gadgets as the new viral ad in that users voluntarily choose to add the branded gadget to their homepage.


Advantages over Rich Media

·         Built using HTML or Flash

·         Flexibility with open-source AJAX

·         Blends seamlessly and quickly with relevant page content

·         No serving or hosting feeds

·         Serves on thousands of AdSense sites and YouTube

·         Agencies can build a gadget easily and host creative elements on their in-house server

·         Agency can update gadget content hourly


Idea Starters

·         To communication reputation management or branding messages, share stories through embedded videos inside a gadget ad.

·         For recruitment campaigns, overlay job openings in a Google Maps mashup, allowing job seekers to search for and learn about job openings by clicking on various geographic locations.  Employ a data form to allow users to apply for jobs within the gadget ad.

·         Let people measure the impact of their eco-conscious efforts by employing a carbon footprint calculator within a gadget.

·         Help people plan their driving trips by providing in a gadget ad a station finder, driving directions, traffic reports, or driving tips.


To set up a brainstorm to discuss how your brand can specifically leverage Google Gadgets, contact Mark Marinacci at

Maps Definitions:

Google Maps - A Google service offering powerful user-friendly mapping technology and local business information

Google Maps API - Allows companies to embed Google Maps into their own webpages or within gadgets (for free)



Overlay any information you choose onto the map interface, including images, polygons, place marks, and videos. 



A map can serve as an interactive platform on which brands not only share information with users, but allow users to share their information and interact within a community.


Showcase: Mastercard

Mastercard extended their “Priceless” campaign online by inviting people to “show the world what’s priceless to you.”  By incorporating the Google Maps API onto their website, users could upload their priceless stories onto a map, incorporating photos, audio, and videos.  Visit the site.


Showcase: Seven Wonders Mashup

A software developer created a website powered by Google Maps to showcase the New Seven Wonders of the World.  To tell the stories of the new wonders, he embedded YouTube videos, mapped to each destination within the map.  Visit the site.


Idea Starters

·         As a global company, you have a library of worldwide stories and case studies telling the challenges you face and what you’ve achieved in each region.  House these stories within a map on your website by incorporating a Google Maps API.   Educate your audience through an interactive map experience.

·         Help your customers locate your service stations.  Incorporate Google Maps into a gadget ad and let users search for your locations as they plan online for road trips.

·         Encourage your audience to share stories of how your company powered their cross-country road trip or family vacation.  Let them trace their route along the map and share their experiences through photos and videos.  

Other entertainment oriented implementations:
  Miami Vice | Deck the Halls | Disturbia Suburbia | The Chemical Brothers

Google Maps Documentation:
  Google Maps Homepage | Maps API



Google Earth – An application that offers a 3-D representation of the planet with high precision satellite imagery.  Users who download Google Earth can pan, tilt, and zoom their way around the world. 



Similar to Google Maps, advertisers may build overlays of data that highlight important issues.  With a download base of more than 200 million people, Google Earth helps you convey your message and manage brand reputation in a unique interactive platform.


Current Examples


Showcase: Crisis in Darfur

Google, in conjunction with the United States Holocaust Museum, developed a Google Earth overlay illustrating the recent crisis and genocide in Darfur.  The compelling visual evidence of the destruction in Darfur includes photographs of more than 1,600 villages that have been damaged or completely destroyed.  The overlay allows users to zoom to more than 133,000 homes, schools, mosques and other buildings that have been burned to the ground.


Showcase: Energy Use by Country

A member of the Google Earth Community developed a Google Earth overlay that incorproates 3D charts showcasing each countries' Oil Consumption.  The height of each chart corresponds to the volume of that nation's consumption of oil.  The author utilized data from the CIA World Factbook.

Showcase: Rising Sea Level Animation

To highlight the dangers of rising sea levels due to global warming, a member of the Google Earth Community from Hungary has created a time animation illustrating what might happen if sea levels rose from 1 to 100 meters. Using a simple technique of wrapping the world with a sea-level sphere and scaling it bigger meter by meter, users can examine the devestating consequences to coastal cities around the world like New York, Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong, etc.

Showcase: Great Green Buildings

Traveling around the United States to see the best green architecture might not be the most environmentally friendly option. So, the Department of Energy, and Google have teamed up to bring you the next best thing: Using Google Earth software, one can now view full SketchUp models of the 96 projects in the High Performance Buildings Database project, bringing green building projects from all over to your computer screen.

Idea Starters

·         Create a Google Earth layer that advocates your brand’s efforts from various locations around the globe. 


Google Earth Documentation:
  Google Earth Homepage | Earth API | Download Google Earth | Google Earth Gallery

Feed Definitions:

RSS Feeder -  Offer an effective means for the distribution of late breaking information.  Users may subscribe to RSS feeds to stay abreast of any news related to a topic of interest. 

FeedBurner - Acquired by Google in June 2007, FeedBurner is the leading advertising network for RSS Feeds, allowing advertisers to extend reach beyond website and search placements

Feed Placements – Advertisements placed within the content of RSS Feeds

Feed Reader - Also known as a feed aggregator or news reader, a software or application that aggregates web content such as news, blogs, podcasts, and vlogs in a single location for easy viewing.  Example – Google Reader, NewsGator, Bloglines.



As an advertiser, you can place your ad within relevant RSS Feeds.  As people check their feed reader for updated information, your ad will appear in an uncluttered environment (one ad per feed).  Moreover, you can employ Feedburner to publish your own news feeds.  People could subscribe to your feed and receive updates that you control.


Current Examples

               Text Ad:

            Image Ad:



Idea Starters

·         Target corporate-focused ads to FeedBurner’s Current Affairs and Politics feed channel

·         Publish a feed with tips on reducing energy consumption.

·         Publish a feed with alerts to new brand content (i.e. Press Releases, Executive Speeches, Investor Alerts, Brand Reports)

·         Publish a feed with updates on gas prices.


Google Content Network


Google Content Network - An advertising network of hundreds of thousands of websites, spanning hundreds of categories.  The network offers 80% worldwide reach of the online population and 4.3 billion daily pageviews to provide tremendous scale for advertising messages.  Google has established relationships with each of the network’s site publishers, allowing our advertisers to quickly and easily distribute their message across the web.  Our network aggregates large, premium sites with niche, long-tail sites, providing the opportunity to precisely target moments of relevance. 



Advertisers can target sites within the Google Content Network in two ways. 

1.      Contextual targeting. 

Advertisers decide on a list of keywords and concepts related to their message.  Google crawls the network, finding pages that match those keywords and concepts, and serves the relevant ad alongside that content.

2.      Select specific sites.  Your Google account team can help you determine which sites are most relevant to target based on your target audience’s interests and affinities.


The Google Content Network accepts text, image, click-to-play video, and gadget ads.



Flexibility à Add or remove placements from your campaign on the fly

Targeting à We can help you select specific sites based on audience interests and affinities

Transparency à Performance metrics available at site or placement level at any time throughout campaign

Market Pricing à No negotiating; auction-based pricing


To discuss how the Google Content Network can help you target your audience with your brand’s message, contact Mark Marinacci at



YouTube à  The largest online destination for watching and sharing original videos worldwide

Brand Channel à  A customized, channel within YouTube that allows advertisers to provide a branded consumer experience through videos and contests. 



Advertisers can upload video assets to YouTube at no cost.  For a small fee, advertisers can extend their YouTube presence by creating a Brand Channel.  A Brand Channel is a branded interface that houses a collection of videos within YouTube.  Advertisers can alter the appearance, or “skin” of the interface to incorporate icons, images, background graphics, and headers that represent the brand.  Brand Channels are listed alphabetically under YouTube’s “Sponsors” section.


Current Examples


Idea Starters

·         Develop a brand channel as a platform for people to debate energy issues.  Your audience can upload videos in response to questions or categories that you identify in your channel, or in response

·         Turn your brand channel into a contest.  User can submit videos of their most memorable road trip.  You can embed a Google Map into the brand channel that allows users to map their route or search for your gas stations.  You can either select a winner or let users vote on the videos to let the winner rise to the top based on rankings.  The winner could receive a year’s worth of free gas.

·         Host a contest for car owners.  They can submit videos entries that compete for “best-performing vehicle.”  Or they can compete based on who has the car most in need of a makeover.  The winning submission can win a year’s worth of high performance motor oil or a makeover sponsored by your brand.


To set up a brainstorm to discuss how your brand can specifically leverage YouTube advertising opportunities, contact Mark Marinacci at


Google Sketchup à  3D software tool that combines a simple, yet robust toolset with an intelligent drawing system that streamlines and simplifies 3D design.

Google 3D Warehouse à Online repository of 3D models where people can search and download sketchup models.



Google SketchUp is an easy-to-learn 3D modeling program that enables you to create 3D models of buildings, mechanical structures, energy production facilities even tankers. Once built, you can place your models in Google Earth or post them to the 3D Warehouse.  Advertisers can use Google Sketchup to convey the complexities of energy production, model alternative energy sources (e.g. how geothermal energy works) or highlight methods to improve energy conversation in the home or workplace.


Current Examples


Wind Power

3D models of wind energy inventions and locations, including wind generators and turbines.


The Top 10 Green

Developed by the Blue Marble Project, a team of developers that creates virtual experiences of places and products from around the world in 3D, the Top 10 Green collections are intended to provide information about Sustainable Living resources.