It's hard to deny that online advertising has grown a bit stale, with most ads being some take on ye olde banners. Google obviously has a vested interest in keeping us clicking -- so it's launching its Art, Copy & Code project to liven things up. The initiative sees Google experimenting with partners to see which concepts garner the most interest. Among the early field tests is the "useful marketing" of Volkswagen's Smileage app, which uses a Google+ Sign-In to share media from a road trip; there's also an upcoming internet of things experiment that may involve talking shoes, among other wireless-aware objects. The full scope of Google's advertising outreach will have to wait, although the search firm plans to show and discuss some of its plans at South by Southwest this week. Companies that haven't been getting much attention from old-fashioned, picture-based pitches may want to give the project a closer look.