I went to Google.com this morning to check and see if there happened to be a doodle today. I quickly realized there was not, and closed the tab, but just as I was closing it, I noticed some animated graphic start to pop up. Perhaps I had been wrong.
So, I went back to Google.com, and waited for the animation to return, and to my surprise, it was not a doodle, but an ad. A big animated display ad for a Google product - the Nexus 7 tablet.
Click on the image, and you're taken to this landing page on Google Play, where you get more information about the device, and the following video:
It's nothing new for Google to throw a link to one of its products underneath the search box, and honestly, I'm not entirely sure this is the first time they've put a graphic there, but it's the first time I can remember seeing one, and an animated one no less, so it really catches the eye.
It's hard to find better online real estate for an ad than Google.com, so one can hardly blame Google for taking advantage. It will be interesting to see if Google starts cluttering up the classically simple homepage more in the future to sell its products. They've certainly had no problems adding more elements to the once simple search results pages.
More on the Nexus 7 here.