It's no secret that Google is trying to get involved in all kinds of different advertising ventures outside of its existing efforts. While some of their early efforts, such as getting into magazine advertising, haven't gone all that well, the company keeps experimenting. The latest is to team up with Valpak, makers of the famous (or infamous) blue envelopes stuffed full of coupons that show up in your mailbox and (for most of you) get quickly tossed in the trash can. At least they're not looking to put Google Adwords into those envelopes. Instead, the partnership does make a bit of sense -- taking Valpak's offline advertisers and offering them the chance to toss up some coupons for people doing searches on Google Maps. Users can then print out the coupons and head off to the local retailer. It's not a particularly new idea -- but getting it implemented properly has always been an issue. If the implementation is done well (and isn't particularly intrusive), it could make sense here. Of course, it really wasn't that long ago that brick-and-mortar retail stores were looking to ditch online coupons due to rampant fraud. So, there may still be some work that needs to be done before retailers get too excited about this.
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