Ads on Android TV and Google TV have always been moderately tame compared to other smart TV platforms, as they exclusively showed advertisements for TV shows and movies. But slowly, Android TV and Google TV ads have been starting to show physical products, including a new ad going around that advertises an Audi car.

Google first launched ads for Android TV in 2020, just months ahead of the debut of Google TV, which was heavier in its focus on recommendations and overall content. In the years since, Google has slowly experimented with how these bits of sponsored advertising can appear, but for a while, it was locked to content you could stream on your device. That started to change in 2021 when Google and Marvel pushed ads for Shang-Chi on Android TV before the film had even hit theaters.

Earlier this year, we saw the first ads on Google TV for physical products, with an ad in India for a retail store selling Apple products.

Related: Google TV: The history of Google in the living room, evolution of Android TV, and what’s next

Now, Google is taking things up a notch.

One Reddit user (presumably in Germany) spotted an ad for an Audi electric car. The ad carries the “advertisement” badge and the (translated) tagline, “The future is already waiting.” The ad was seen on an Nvidia Shield TV, which still uses the Android TV “Discover” experience rather than Google TV.

This increasing trend of showing ads for physical products is certainly a shame to see, but it still appears that Google is only testing the waters. We’ve yet to see these sorts of ads appear widely, especially in the United States. But it seems inevitable that Google will continue to push on with these expansions, especially as the platform grows.

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Ben Schoon

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