13 new DoubleClick Creative Solutions to make your campaigns more successful

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 | 7:49 AM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertiser blog

Savvy advertisers know they need to pair smart creative with their media buying strategies, to accomplish successful digital campaigns. Today, we're making it easier than ever to do just that with 13 new tools across our DoubleClick Creative Solutions. These updates help advertisers succeed with four key creative + media pairings:

1. Powerful creative management tools support large-scale campaigns
2. Dynamic creative tools support programmatic media buys
3. HTML5 and in-app creative tools support mobile ad targeting 4. In-stream video tools support video ad targeting



Pairing #1: Powerful creative management tools support large-scale campaigns
Display campaigns are getting larger and more complex. To keep up, creative agencies need tools that help them build ads to suit every shape and size required by that campaign, in a fast and seamless way. 




Asset Library is a creative management layer launching today in DoubleClick Studio and rolling out across the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform in the next couple quarters. Asset Library allows advertisers to host assets for free in DoubleClick and easily manage and bulk update creative, even in live campaigns, without having to re-traffic them. 



“We have cut our development time considerably using Asset Library as part of our daily work flow. It's hard to imagine how we survived without it.” ~ Michael Douglas, Head of Production, SapientNitro




Pairing #2: Dynamic creative tools support programmatic media buys
Advertisers can use the audience information from their media buy to craft relevant ads for every viewer. Our new dynamic tools focus on making the process easier to manage:




  • A lightweight version of dynamic creative for retail and hotel clients is available in DoubleClick Bid Manager (Premium US users). Use six HTML5 templates to build dynamic ads that are aligned with the programmatic media buy. They work for Facebook right-hand side inventory too!
  • Advertisers can now pull their Google Merchant Center Feed into a dynamic remarketing creative in both DoubleClick Studio and DoubleClick Bid Manager. This makes it much easier to build complex retail campaigns without having to re-input the data.
  • Understand which products in your dynamic ad lead to which website conversions, using the new u-reporting feature in DoubleClick Studio. 



Pairing #3: HTML5 and in-app creative tools support mobile ad targeting
To show a successful ad unit on mobile and tablet placements, you have to build HTML5 ad creatives in formats that work well on smaller screens.




  • Build mobile-compatible ads in minutes, with 20 new HTML5 and in-app Studio Layouts
  • To build more custom HTML5 ads, agencies can use Google Web Designer and then publish their ads in one click to DoubleClick Studio. 
  • For a dynamic creative campaign, DoubleClick Studio supports HTML5 dynamic creative, so advertisers can ensure their real-time messages reach consumers wherever they are. 
  • Publish with confidence: DoubleClick supports MRAID 2.0 (the IAB’s latest mobile in-app standard) and has certified over 90 of the largest publishers and networks, to make sure their websites will support DoubleClick in-app ads. 


Pairing #4: In-stream video tools support video ad targeting
Make your TV commercials work for digital by building in interactivity. Serve your video ads alongside the rest of your digital campaign so that your data and reporting are consolidated. This can lead to better campaign insights. 




  • Our new VPAID Layout lets you easily build interactive in-stream video ads (VPAID). Simply upload your video asset and add interactive elements to create a complex ad unit in minutes.
  • You can also ensure people have a smooth viewing experience with your mobile video ads. DoubleClick Campaign Manager will transcode and segment your videos so they can be served in a file size that will load on the viewer’s mobile connection (3G, 4G or wifi). The video can even be altered on the fly, if the connection changes during playback. 

Digital campaigns are nuanced and complex, so having the right support resources at your disposal is important. We built the Creative Recommendation Tool to help you identify the best product to use based on your project’s resources. We’ve also integrated Chat Support into the Studio UI, so you can get in touch with a real person immediately, get your problem solved and get on with your work. 

While advertisers may be focused on scaling campaigns across big bets like mobile, video and programmatic, smart creative is a critical element of every successful campaign and can’t be an afterthought. Advertisers will achieve the best results when they combine creative strategies with media strategies from the outset of their campaigns. 

Over the next few days, we’ll dive into each of the four creative strategies listed above, to provide best practices for combining creative and media strategies in your campaigns. Stay tuned!

Posted by Becky Chappell, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick Creative Solutions

Introducing Custom Affinity Audiences across the Google Display Network

Tuesday, October 7, 2014 | 9:20 AM

Cross-posted from the Inside AdWords blog


Over the past 2 years, we’ve launched affinity and in-market audiences, two new ways to help advertisers reach people across the Google Display Network who are most likely to be receptive to their messages. For example, if you’re marketing a new car for 2015, affinity audiences makes it possible to reach auto enthusiasts, while in-market audiences lets you find people who are actively shopping for a car.

Introducing Custom Affinity Audiences

In the coming weeks, we’re rolling out our newest offering in this suite -- custom affinity audiences. It gives you the flexibility to reach exactly the audience you're looking for, because you decide who to reach.

Custom affinity audiences lets advertisers define who they want to reach across the web, on any screen. By factoring in consumers’ most recent passions and ongoing interests, your message always reaches the right people. Custom affinity audiences works across the Google Display Network, which, according to ComScore, reaches 94% of the web in the United States on a monthly basis, and 89% of global internet users. Like affinity audiences, custom affinity audiences work best with existing features and formats like Engagement Ads and viewable impressions, and can be measured using Brand Lift reporting.

In the Spotlight

Electronic Arts used custom affinity audiences to engage fans of specific NFL teams in their recent Madden GIFERATOR campaign. Google’s affinity audience solution offers a segment for football fans, but EA used custom affinity to take precision to the next level. They created 32 custom affinity audiences, one per NFL team, to reach fans of specific teams with display ads timed to the real-time action on the field.

Alexis Cox, Senior Product Manager at EA, collaborated with Google to build this innovative campaign. “One of our goals with the GIFERATOR was to make Madden a part of the live NFL conversation. Custom affinity audiences has allowed us to broaden Madden’s reach with tailored real-time content while maintaining strong engagement,” Cox said.


This new way to customize a campaign was also music to the ears of Kevin McCollum, producer of Motown the Musical. Getting the attention of people on vacation in New York City, with all its myriad attractions, can be a huge challenge.

Motown the Musical used custom affinity audiences to find potential theatergoers in New York City and saw strong results. McCollum shared, “Google's custom affinity audiences allowed us to reach New York City tourists at a scale and efficiency unlike an any other technology, and it drove fantastic results, at no additional cost.”

“Using custom affinity audiences yielded nearly double the performance of our other campaigns targeting New York City tourists this summer,” said Kyle Fox, Associate Digital Media Manager at SpotCo, agency for Motown the Musical. “Set-up was easy and we were still able to maintain the great hands-on optimization we expect from AdWords.”

Offering Richer Insights

We’re continually improving AdWords to make it easier for you to reach the right audience and to provide insights about the audiences you’re reaching. As you build a custom affinity audience, we will now provide immediate estimates for the people you may reach by showing breakdowns of their demographics like age and gender as well as their most relevant affinities.



You’ll see these same kind of insights whenever you access Interests & remarketing features from the +Targeting button in AdWords. To learn more, visit the AdWords Help Center.

Posted by Jon Krafcik, Senior Product Manager, Display Ads

1ComScore Key Measures and Media Metrix, August 2014

Top holiday tips for retailers

Thursday, October 2, 2014 | 11:14 AM

Cross-posted from the Inside AdWords blog

With October kicking off this week, the holiday shopping season is just around the corner. According to our recent research, 29% of shoppers plan to start their holiday shopping before Halloween. With this in mind, we’ve put together a Holiday Shopping Checklist filled with the season’s best practices for retailers to maximize performance across both Search and Shopping campaigns. In addition to our checklist, here are the top holiday trends from last year and tips from the Google Shopping team on how to make this Q4 a good one.

Address increased shopping demand today. Last holiday season, traffic sent to merchants from Google Shopping doubled year-on-year.1 This momentum has continued and in July we saw traffic sent to merchants surpass last year’s peak holiday traffic from Google Shopping.2  Not only has consumer interest increased, but it is also beginning earlier. Our research shows last year consumer interest in Black Friday was up 27% from 2012 and related searches started about a week earlier than the prior year. Get the most out of this high volume shopping period by establishing your marketing goals early and using our checklist to help achieve them.

Connect with mobile shoppers. The best way to connect with your customers is to be there whenever and wherever they are looking for your products, and increasingly this is on mobile. Mobile devices drove 35% of all traffic to retail sites in the US last holiday season, and this is expected to increase to 43% by November 2014.3 Globally, Google Shopping sent over 3X more traffic to merchants on smartphones in holiday 2013 year-on-year.1 Make sure you plan for a significant proportion of your shoppers to be mobile this season.

Provide fresh and accurate information to customers. Pricing and shipping are two of the most important factors for shoppers when making a purchase online.4 Update and resubmit product feeds regularly to  ensure that customers see consistent pricing and inventory information across your Product Listing Ads and website. Improve the customer experience by using automatic item updates to update your items on Google Shopping based on the data we find on your website. If you offer free shipping, include messaging in your text ads or use the new Merchant Center shipping configuration tool to reflect this in your Product Listing Ads.


New shipping configuration tool in Merchant Center

Differentiate from the competition. With strong competition during the holidays, promotions are a key driver in determining consumer purchasing decisions. This was evident last year, as 92% of all shoppers took advantage of some type of promotion.5 Consider how you can differentiate your messaging by highlighting a strong promotional offer or unique value proposition. Make your Product Listing Ads stand out by using merchant promotions and provide an additional stamp of credibility for your business by becoming a Google Trusted Store. Provide additional value for shoppers by displaying product ratings on your PLAs. According to Diana Ruka, Senior Director of eCommerce at COACH, product ratings have provided “added value beyond price points or descriptions - they convey a message without need for words- they provide distinction.”   
Example of merchant promotions, product ratings and the Google Trusted Stores badge displayed on Product Listing Ads

For more holiday tips and best practices, check out our Holiday Shopping Checklist or join us for our Learn With Google Hangout on Air on October 30 at 10:00am PST for more holiday optimization tips.

Posted by Shelby Coyne, Product Marketing Manager, Google Shopping
1 Google Internal Data Q4 ‘12 to Q4 ‘13.
2 Google Internal Data Q4 ‘13 to Q2 ‘14.
3 IBM Online Retail Holiday Readiness Report, June 2014.
(Note: IBM’s definition of ‘mobile devices’ includes smartphones and tablets.)
4 Shop.org, Holiday Planning Guide, February 2014.

5 Baynote Holiday Shopper Survey, January 2014.

Building the next generation of display ads for a multi-screen world

Monday, September 29, 2014 | 8:39 AM

Cross-­posted from the Inside AdWords blog.

It’s true that mobile devices offer a new canvas for advertisers to connect with consumers, but painting on this canvas has not always been easy. Many marketers started out by shrinking down their existing display ads for mobile, but this didn’t always make for a great consumer experience. They also discovered that frequently their existing display ads were not able to run on mobile devices or on mobile browsers. But now, a new generation of display ads is changing how advertisers engage with consumers on mobile devices.

Today, we’re excited to announce that over the coming months we will launch several mobile display ad formats and tools across the Google Display Network, the AdMob Network and DoubleClick that will make it easier for advertisers to build successful ads that work across screens.
Display ads built for mobile
The new display ad formats that will be rolling out in the coming months are designed specifically for mobile environments:
  • Big brand ads, built for mobile and resized for every screen: Mobile lightbox Engagement Ads use your existing brand assets to automatically create engaging rich media ads in HTML5 that run seamlessly across devices and screens. The ads will dynamically resize to fit any ad size, making them quick-to-create, and you only pay when users engage. We built a demo of this new format for Kate Spade's upcoming holiday campaign. These will soon be available in the AdWords Ad Gallery.
Invitation State
Expanded State

  • Video ads for the AdMob network that people can choose to watch: TrueView ads have already been running across gaming apps in the AdMob network. In the coming months, they will roll out broadly across more apps in AdMob. With TrueView, your ads can reach consumers while they engage with their favorite apps. Plus, you only pay when a user chooses not to skip your ad.
  • Ads that stay put even while a person scrolls down the page: The anchor ad format is a mobile web ad unit that sits at the bottom of the screen on a mobile device. As a user scrolls down the page, the ad remains “anchored” to the bottom of the screen. The user can dismiss the ad at any time.
  • Magazine glossiness for your existing text ads: The magazine style text ad format (previously launched for mobile websites) has now been extended as an interstitial in-app format for the AdMob network, bringing the glossiness of print magazine ads to the ease and practicality of a text ad. Google Display Network text ads automatically become eligible to serve in this new ad space.
Anchor Ad Format and Magazine Style Text Ad Format

Tools to help make your existing ads mobile-ready:
These next generation mobile formats will make it easier for advertisers to build beautiful and engaging mobile ads that work across screens, but we also wanted to make it easier to do more with your existing ads designed for desktop. We've developed three new tools, that will be available in the coming months, to convert your existing ads into versions that will work across screens and devices.
  • Automatic mobile sizes for your image ads: The auto-resizing tool for the Google Display Network will automatically create new sizes of image ads, including mobile-specific ad sizes.
  • Interactive HTML5 backups when Flash isn’t supported: The Flash-to-HTML5 conversion tools for the Google Display Network and DoubleClick Campaign Manager will automatically create an HTML5 version of your Flash ads. When these ads are served on a device or browser that doesn’t support Flash, the system can show the interactive HTML5 ad instead of a static image backup.
  • HTML5 and in-app rich media ads built in minutes: There are now 29 HTML5 and in-app formats available in DoubleClick Studio Layouts, a tool that let’s you upload your existing creative assets into a pre-built rich media ad template to quickly create rich ads that work on smartphones and tablets.

With these new tools and formats, we’re making it easier for advertisers to develop beautiful display ads that just work, regardless of screen or device, ensuring a better experience for both consumers and brands.

Posted by Jonathan Alferness, Director of Product Management for Mobile Display Ads at Google

Forrester Report: A Faster Pace for Retail Paid Search

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:23 AM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Search blog

The real-time imperative
Real-time matters in retail search because external events continuously affect demand. Whether planned events like Black Friday, or unplanned ones like the next big snow day, campaigns that were optimized for demand are suddenly altered by new market realities. The speed at which a retailer’s search management tool can “see” the new behavior and adapt to it will help to determine how successful campaigns are over time, and because events can shift quickly, speed is ever-more important for success.

We know how important it is for our retailers to be running profitable campaigns with a minimum of ongoing manual effort. It’s why we’ve consistently invested in tools to be faster. From instant conversion data and intra-day bidding to integration with Google Merchant Center for ad creation and management, we’re committed to developing tools to support speed in search.

Understanding how retailers use real-time
Today, in partnership with Forrester, we’re launching a study that shows how retailers access and use real-time tools to stay ahead in the digital game.
What we found was… opportunity
According to Forrester’s survey, only 20% of retail search marketers have access to real-time conversion data, and less than half can see conversions before the next business day.



In addition to response times, we found that, on average, marketers are only able to merchandize about half their inventory in search ads, even though long-tail products can represent a significant revenue opportunity.

Get the full report
For all the results, along with Forrester’s recommendations for retail search success, check out the full report at Think with Google. To get the latest research, communications and case studies from DoubleClick, sign up for one of our newsletters.

Behind-the-Tech of Nike’s “Phenomenal Shot” World Cup Campaign

Monday, September 15, 2014 | 12:14 PM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertiser blog

The World Cup offers a good barometer for how tech is being used by a critical mass of people around the world. Four years ago, we had the first World Cup of the social media era. This summer, the big story was how fans were using mobile devices and tablets to engage with the matches and with each other. And just as audience habits are changing, advertising tactics are evolving to keep up.

Nike’s Phenomenal Shot is a perfect example: A real-time campaign that played off the action in ways that wouldn’t have been possible four years ago. Nike Phenomenal Shot let fans all over the world view, remix and share phenomenal moments from Nike athletes, just seconds after the plays happened. (Play around with one of the ads yourself.)

As part of the latest Google Art Copy & Code collaboration, Nike partnered with Wieden+Kennedy, Mindshare, Grow, and Goo Technologies to create this innovative campaign, providing a new way of tapping into the real-time energy of live sports, all across the web.

While it’s fun to play around with the ads, if you’re in the advertising industry, it’s even better to learn how they were built. That’s why we asked Drew Ungvarsky, CEO of the digital agency Grow, and Mike Glaser, Marketing Manager on the Google Art Copy & Code team, to walk us through the technology and techniques that were used to create this campaign. From DoubleClick Dynamic Creative to robust WebGL experiences, the Nike Phenomenal Shot campaign demonstrates what advertising for today’s modern web can be.

Advertisers see Shopping campaign success with new optimization, reporting tools from the DoubleClick Search Commerce Suite

Thursday, August 28, 2014 | 7:42 AM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Search blog

In March, we introduced Shopping campaigns support in DoubleClick Search, offering a simpler, more flexible way for retailers to manage their Product Listing Ads (PLAs). Thanks to these tools, advertisers have already seen success with Shopping campaigns. As Casandra Jones, Associate Director at iProspect, says: “It’s been incredibly helpful having DoubleClick Search be first to market with a solution for Shopping campaigns. We were able to transition to Shopping campaigns more quickly and determine best practices that work for our brands -- giving us a competitive edge, long before the majority of retailers hit the market.”


Since then, we’ve been focused on building solutions with the scale and speed you need to capture every retail opportunity. Now, we’re excited to announce three new tools from the DoubleClick Search Commerce Suite to help make your reporting and optimization even easier. Below, we’ll unpack these features by highlighting the what, the why, and how customers are using our solutions today.

Automated campaign optimization with adaptive Shopping campaigns


What: Adaptive Shopping campaigns is a new way to dynamically create and optimize your Shopping campaign structure, based on product performance. Native integration with Google Merchant Center means we’ll monitor your feed and automatically subdivide existing product groups by product ID, based on the conversion rates of the products in each group.

Why: We’ve found that 90% of the median advertiser’s cost comes from only 9.5% of its products(1). However, advertisers often lump these high-spend products into bid groups with other, lower-converting products -- leading to bid values that are not optimized, based on relative performance. Adaptive Shopping campaigns ensure your most popular SKUs get the right bid by creating product groups for each item earning high traffic.

What do customers think? Andrea Bywater, Marketing Coordinator of Paid Search at BuildDirect, says: “Using adaptive shopping campaigns will be incredibly helpful in helping us group ‘winning’ SKUs together -- especially when things get even busier with the holidays and Black Friday just around the corner. Not only will this be more effective in saving time; it’ll also help us save money on products with lower conversion rates.”

Smarter, faster bid optimization for Shopping campaigns


What: Earlier this month, we rolled out bid optimization for Shopping campaigns -- giving you the ability to extend the same powerful bidding algorithms from our Performance Bidding Suite to your Shopping campaigns, with smarter bidding based on near real-time data.

Why: We know bid optimization can make or break campaign results. Bidding strategies need to be flexible enough to meet your business objectives, while algorithms need to be fast enough to act quickly in a competitive landscape. With bid optimization for Shopping campaigns, you can:

  • Easily define your goals -- setting individual bid strategies, or combining different strategies, just as you do with your DoubleClick Search text ads.
  • Target precisely and efficiently by setting Shopping campaign bid strategies on campaigns, ad groups, or even product groups.
  • Reach shoppers on the go by automatically setting a mobile bid modifier.

And as with the rest of your bids, bid optimization for Shopping campaigns benefit from up-to-the-minute conversion data. This means you can use fresher data to more closely track to your promotion goals -- even during the busiest marketing days.

What do customers think? Ashlee Wiltshire, Analytics & Technology Account Manager at Performics, recently helped her team implement Shopping campaign bid strategies for several of their key retail clients. Wiltshire says: “Within two weeks, we've seen CPCs come down 11.2% and ROAS improve by 3.4%. It's also freed up a lot of the teams’ time, and as a result we’re able to build out more granular campaigns without worrying about manually updating bids."

Better transaction insights with purchase detail reports (beta)


What: Purchase detail reports (currently in beta) let you better understand the products consumers purchased, and the ads that drove those sales. Once you specify the products sold in a transaction using the DoubleClick floodlight tag, you can customize and report on specific product sales by any attribute, including color, size, product line, and style. Best of all, these reports are available for any type of campaign -- whether that’s text, Shopping, on AdWords or on Bing.

Why: With ever-changing shifts in seasons and trends, retailers often focus on selling a certain products at a given time. Fashion advertisers, for example, need to sell the latest styles before they fall out of favor. In the past, figuring out if your search advertising actually lead to these product sales has been complex -- requiring lots of time and effort in reporting analysis. Purchase detail reports give granular transaction details for better insights into your campaign performance:

  • Identify the impact of your advertising on achieving core business goals like maximizing profitability or selling off inventory.
  • Improve ad targeting by matching ads to the products that consumers are most interested in purchasing.
  • Understand the real value of brand and general terms in selling your highest margin or most important products.

What do customers think? Justin Johnson, Paid Search Manager at Cabela’s, says: “Having insights into where we spend our money, in addition to what people are looking for,  has been invaluable in helping us make better decisions. With this data, we have a better look into where we may not have adequate coverage, and are able to quickly make changes to address that. Being able to pull in margin data to see if certain keywords are actually better or worse at driving profitable traffic than we anticipated helps us be more thoughtful with our spending.”

Reach out to your DoubleClick Search representative or our support team at ds-support@google.com.

To learn more about upcoming DoubleClick Search Commerce Suite developments in easy workflows, insightful reporting, and smarter optimization, stay tuned to the DoubleClick Search blog, sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on Google+.

1. DoubleClick Search internal data, 2014