More than two years after first unleashing the video plus box on search listings, Google has started to push the video unit into Adwords.

The video plus unit was first introduced to organic search results in early-2007, as part of its universal search results.

Now, entertainment companies including Miramax, Discovery and EA have recently been offered to use the video player to bolster their plain text Adwords ads.

Searchers can click on a ‘[+] Watch preview’ link to expand
the video unit in order to watch the trailer without leaving the page. Google
registers a ‘click’ after 10 seconds of the video has been played.

The trial appears to be geotargeted to the US only at the current time. There’s a good overview on this at AdAge, including comments from The Travel Channel’s Pete Dorogoff, who is a beta tester.  

The new Adwords feature remains in closed beta as far as I
can tell, but it’s surely a sign of things to come.

Entertainment companies are the obvious first place Google
would look to push this scheme, but for what other firms that market themselves
via TV ads, virals and other rich video content? Is it only a matter of time
before this kind of user-requested display advertising hits Google’s search
pages more broadly?

When Google launched Google Checkout retailers were able to
place a checkout icon alongside their Adwords ad, something that we imagined
would help drive clicks and boost Quality Scores
. Google itself said adding an
icon would help increase CTR.

I wonder if the same thing will happen with the ‘[+]
Watch Preview’ button?