Video and the Moments That Matter

Tuesday, January 6, 2015 | 2:28 PM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertiser blog

Today’s consumer spends more time in digital than any other media, often while fluidly moving across screens. In the past three years alone, multi-screen media consumption has jumped by 500 percent, with 90 percent of consumers moving between one device and another to complete a task, whether it’s to shop, plan a trip or browse content. And the growth rates are stunning: on YouTube, more video content will be uploaded today than all three major networks created in the past five years.

Today at CES I announced two really exciting developments that will help turbocharge the future of video advertising:
  • First, more than 30 mainstays of video advertising--broadcasters, premium publishers and major brands--have joined our premium video marketplace, Google Partner Select and;
  • We’re rolling out viewability reporting across our ad platforms. This will, for the first time, inform brands whether their video ads on digital channels were actually seen or not (as opposed to, for example, appearing off-screen, going unwatched or being swiped past).
Our goal with both of these updates is to help marketers succeed in today’s world of media abundance by connecting them with consumers at the right time in the right place and enabling them to measure what truly matters.

An update on Partner Select
In June we introduced you to Google Partner Select, a premium video marketplace that brings together the best of brand advertising with the best of programmatic. Our goal was to create a marketplace of top-quality video content from the best producers. Today, we’re happy to share some of those partnerships.

Since launch, more than 30 broadcast and premium publisher brands have signed on including CBS Interactive, Fox News, Discovery, Animal Planet, TLC, HGTV, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel, Hearst Television, Rolling Stone, Us Weekly, Men’s Fitness, and PGA Tour. These publishers are helping brands discover a wide range of their premium video content including full-episode shows, live sports & news, and short-form content across a broad range of audiences and content categories. And all of this inventory is exclusive to Google Partner Select.

We’ve also seen strong traction on the advertiser side with over 20 major brand advertisers, including iconic brands like Allstate, BMW and Netflix, and their agencies having signed significant commitments to buy through Google Partner Select. In our early tests, we've seen video ads running through Google Partner Select driving significant audience engagement with 74% video ad completion rates, demonstrating that when brands pick the right moments, engagement follows.

Viewability for Video
When it comes to impact, being seen is not just important, it’s fundamental. That’s why this time last year, we set a goal for ourselves to help make viewability a common currency across the industry. I’m encouraged that this issue is staying top of mind for so many and hope that marketers and publishers continue to push for the full transparency and accountability they deserve.

In our latest of ongoing investments in this area, in the coming days, we will start to offer viewability reporting for video campaigns available to all marketers and publishers using our DoubleClick platforms, as well as for the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. We’ll soon have this capability for reserved inventory on YouTube as well (including all of Google Preferred) across desktop and app views, a significant addition with so much viewership now happening in mobile. In the coming months, we’ll start offering the ability to target viewable impressions in DoubleClick, as well as the ability to buy only viewable video impressions across the Google Display Network. Later in the year, we also plan to report on audibility for video ads, as well as the total amount of time an ad was viewable.

We’re adhering to the industry definition for video viewability (as set by the MRC and Making Measurement Make Sense): 50% or more of the video being on screen for two seconds or longer.

Viewability, though, is just the starting point, not an end in and of itself. With the confidence that their ads can be seen by a real person, marketers can then go on to strive for--and measure--what really matters, impact and engagement. Along with our commitment to viewability, we’ll continue our investments in other ways to help marketers drive engagement, like our TrueView format (where advertisers only pay when consumers engage) and Brand Lift surveys, which help marketers measure the impact of their campaigns on their branding goals.

I’m incredibly excited about the future of digital video for brand building. No other medium brings together sight, sound and motion--and incredible measurability. This is the start of what we expect will be a year of leaps forward in the industry in making digital work for brand advertisers. So watch this space for more to come.

Posted by Neal Mohan, Vice President, Video & Display Advertising

Get your Shopping certification today on Google Partners

Thursday, December 18, 2014 | 3:37 PM

Last year we created the Google Partners platform to provide tools and resources to help agencies learn more about Google's advertising solutions. Through Google Partners, individuals can get certified in AdWords and agencies can earn the Google Partner badge. Today we’re very excited to extend the Google Partners certification offerings to include a new Google Shopping exam in the United States.

If you are an agency specializing in Merchant Center and Shopping campaign management, you can now get certified in AdWords by completing both the Shopping and AdWords Fundamentals exams. A certification shows to potential business partners that Google recognizes you as an online advertising professional that can successfully manage Shopping campaigns.

The Shopping exam will test your proficiency in Merchant Center account creation, product data, Shopping campaigns management and optimization best practices. To take the test, start by creating a profile on Google Partners today. All exams will be listed under the "Certifications" section.

Worried about studying for the exams? Join us in the Google Partners community to get access to webinars, special events and trainings from your peers and the Google team. Also, use these helpful study materials:
If you’re ready to take the test, sign in to Google Partners and get started. The Google Shopping exam will be expanding to other countries soon -- stay tuned!

Alex Chen, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping

CES: A keynote on building brands with video

Friday, December 12, 2014 | 6:00 AM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertiser blog

With 2014 drawing to a close, we’re getting excited about what’s ahead in the new year. We’ll be ringing in 2015 at the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) the first week of January. If you’re planning to go too, we’d like to invite you to come by C Space, the new destination at CES for advertisers, publishers, agencies, and content creators.

On the first day of the event (Tuesday, January 6th), Neal Mohan, Google’s VP of Display and Video Advertising Products, will be headlining C Space. In his keynote he’ll talk about how brands can make the most of video in a climate where consumers are easier to reach but harder to influence. He’ll discuss not only how to drive engagement but also how to measure the impact that it has on brand metrics.

Following his keynote, Neal will join Meredith Levien, EVP Advertising at The New York Times, in a fireside chat.

Learn more about C Space and check out the full agenda here.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, January 6th 2015
1 - 2 PM PT

For Brand Marketers: 5-Step Guide to Programmatic Buying

Wednesday, December 10, 2014 | 1:15 PM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertiser blog

A lot has changed for marketers over the years. But one thing remains constant: the need to connect with and move an audience in the moments that matter. Brand marketers are beginning to truly embrace programmatic buying to do just that. The challenge is, many marketers don’t know where to start in order to successfully embrace programmatic for their brand campaigns.

To help address this challenge, we’re pleased to share our five-step guide: "Programmatic: A Brand Marketer’s Guide," to provide context and ideas for how marketers and their agencies can successfully embrace programmatic buying. It covers the essentials that brand marketers need to know in order to:

  1. Organize audience insights
  2. Design compelling creative
  3. Execute with integrated technology
  4. Reach audiences across screens
  5. Measure the impact

Our guide includes seven case studies with brands including Nike, KLM, Talk Talk, Kia, GOL, Burberry, and Kellogg so that brand marketers new to programmatic can learn from their peers.

We hope this guide can help you realize the ultimate promise of advertising in the digital age: to effectively run highly relevant, creative, and measurable campaigns, at scale. To make the most of programmatic buying, we invite you to explore the five steps to programmatic success.

You can stay on top of new updates by subscribing to our newsletter and following us on our Google+ page.

Posted by Kelly Cox, Product Marketing Manager

Celebrate the most creative, engaging, and unique ads of 2014

| 6:00 AM

1 billion minutes watched. 425 million views. 2 million likes. These are just a few of the massive numbers driven by the top ten ads on YouTube in 2014. It’s been an amazing year for digital advertising, with some of the most popular content on YouTube coming from brands. Even in the age of the skip button, viewers are now choosing to watch ads more than ever before. That’s because brands are making entertaining, original, and inventive videos—ads that are truly worth watching.

Think with Google is celebrating the best of the best with its year-end recap—featuring the top 10 ads and top 10 movie trailers of the year, along with the annual YouTube Ads Rewind video, which identifies the biggest themes from the year in digital video advertising, and shows a few ways that brands are breaking the traditional advertising mold:

  • Creating longer videos. The rising length of successful ads is a remarkable new trend, counterintuitive to advertising of the past. Conventional wisdom tell us brands must be brief—but when people choose to watch an ad, there’s no time limit. The top 10 ads on YouTube this year averaged 3 minutes in length—that’s 47% longer than the videos on the Leaderboard in 2013.
  • Shaping the cultural conversation.  While yesterday’s ads reinforced social norms, today’s top ads often rethink them. For instance, when Always embraced the phrase “Like A Girl” in its 2014 video, they earned 300,000 likes, shares and comments in 30 days on YouTube alone. Today's viewers are looking for bold, provocative campaigns. Brands are responding with content that makes people think.
  • Utilizing live events. Brands are increasingly trying to reach consumers online before, during and after live sporting events. And for good reason—the top 10 Super Bowl and World Cup ads this year earned a remarkable 14 million hours of watch time, with 75% of those hours consumed before or after the events themselves. 
  • Collaborating with creators. Marketers are looking to partner with experienced YouTube creators to develop original content that best suits the platform. Friskies, for instance, teamed with BuzzFeed (no stranger to adorable cat videos), to create its “Dear Kitten” ads—which is now the most-watched video on BuzzFeed’s channel.

See more of the year’s top ads on Think With Google, and learn how to create content that people actually choose to watch.

Making mobile easier: Lightbox ads now available across screens

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 | 11:07 AM

Cross-posted from the Inside AdWords blog

Creating ads that can run -- and look beautiful -- across the ever-expanding universe of the world’s more than 2 billion smart phones and tablets1 is complex to say the least. Last month, we announced that we'd be bringing our popular Lightbox format to mobile devices. Today we're happy to share that these reinvented Lightbox ads are now available for all AdWords advertisers globally.

Bringing Lightbox Ads Across Screens

With Lightbox ads, it's easy to use existing creative assets to create beautiful, engaging ads that look great on any screen size. These ads pull assets from your YouTube channel, can use uploaded images, or your Google Maps listings to build full screen experiences within a standard Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) ad size. The ability to integrate content from other Google products - like Shopping listings, G+ pages -  is coming soon. Because these ads are built in HTML5, using responsive design, the assets dynamically fill the publisher site, mobile app, screen, or device -- desktop and mobile.

Lightbox ads are great at driving brand consideration because they’re billed on a cost-per-engagement (CPE) basis. This helps your digital display dollars go further because your brand’s experience automatically finds a qualified audience -- and you don’t pay if people don’t expand and engage with the creative experience. This expansion happens when people hover over your ad for two seconds to expand it on a desktop, or tap to expand it on a mobile phone or tablet. Plus, the optimization engine behind Lightbox ads learns over time so your campaigns get better at reaching the audience most likely to engage with your message as your campaign runs. Like all of Google's display ad offerings, Lightbox ads work seamlessly with our audience solutions and can be measured using Brand Lift reporting.

See how seamless it is to build Lightbox ads with images, videos, and maps, by watching the video below.

Testing Lightboxes with Important Purchases

For 12 years, Universal McCann and Sony have been working together to tell the stories of everything from the newest box office releases to cutting edge consumer technology. They joined our beta test for Lightbox ads to market both.

Sony Electronics is using Lightbox ads to advertise their 4K Ultra TV, their Xperia smartphone, their Playstation, their soundbar, and more. Sony Pictures is offering people the preview of their new movie, Annie, in theaters on December 19th, featuring the trailer as well as an awesome emoji inspired sing-along video.

"We chose to use Lightbox ads for our Q4 campaigns because we needed our content to achieve scale across the web. Our clients spend a lot of time, money and energy creating video assets and making sure they get seen by the most qualified, engaged users is our top priority. Google’s new Lightbox ads help us make sure that happens." said Deborah Gaudette, Senior Vice President, Digital, Universal McCann.

Kate Spade, Ford Italy, Boots UK, Jabong India and Pepsi Australia are also running successful Lightbox campaigns.

By launching this update to Lightbox ads, our goal is to free brand marketers to spend less time dealing with mobile  complexity, so you can do what you do best -- engage users with a compelling brand story. We’ll be adding more functionality to this format over the course of 2015. Stay tuned for more enhancements to Lightbox ads in the near future!

Learn more about building your own Lightbox ads in the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by James Beser, Group Product Manager, Display Ads


Join us as we click through AdWords in 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014 | 6:00 AM

Cross-posted from the Inside AdWords blog

Whether you’re building out new campaigns or making critical budget decisions, we want to help you start off the new year with everything you need to connect with your customers, wherever they may be online: across the web, on mobile-sites, and in apps.

On December 10, 2014 at 12:30pm PT / 3:30pm ET, AdWords product managers and I will be hosting a half hour livestream to review product innovations that were announced in April that are now fully available for advertisers to use in the AdWords UI.

Join us to:

  • Understand how app developers are driving installs and re-engagement across search, display, and YouTube on all those shiny new devices people will unwrap this holiday season.
  • Learn how LendingTree and are making more informed business decisions by measuring cross-device conversions and phone calls.
  • Discover essential best practices for automated bidding and app promotion.
  • Wrap up the year with an announcement you won’t want to miss. We think you’ll like it.

We hope you’ll join us December 10th, here on the Inside AdWords blog as we click through AdWords in 2014.

Posted by Jerry Dischler, Vice President, Product Management, AdWords