Celebrate and Vote for #TheYouTubeAd of 2015

Tuesday, December 1, 2015 | 6:00 AM

From realizing pipe dreams, to imagining possibilities and removing labels, the best YouTube ads of 2015 were full of energy and feeling. Viewers have been moved, enticed, entertained and surprised by the ads that top creative agencies have delivered this year.
We’ve partnered with The Webby Awards to select 25 nominees based on this year’s YouTube Ads Leaderboard for the most iconic ads of 2015 -- and now you get to cast your ballot for your favorites.

We’ve selected a few fun categories to highlight how some of the best of ads of 2015 have made us all laugh, cry, think, and feel inspired. Starting today, you can vote for:
  • #TheYouTubeAd You Wish You Were In
  • #TheYouTubeAd That Gets You Going
  • #TheYouTubeAd That’s Your Guilty Pleasure
  • #TheYouTubeAd That Gives You Feels
  • #TheYouTubeAd That Restores Your Faith in Humanity

Voting runs through December 8th - and you can help your favorites reach the top by voting once for each category everyday.

Winners will be announced on December 9th.

Dynamic creative comes to Google Web Designer

Friday, November 20, 2015 | 8:30 AM

As the holiday season gets underway, you're likely focused on reaching holiday shoppers as they browse for gifts for their family and friends. Dynamic creative strategies are key to getting the most relevant messages and products in front of these shoppers. But with consumers' increased usage of mobile devices, you need to build your dynamic creative in HTML5, and this confluence of technologies can lead to complexity.

Streamlining production of dynamic creative in Google Web Designer

To make it easier for you to build relevant and engaging cross-screen creative, we're excited to announce the launch of simplified workflows in Google Web Designer that make it even easier to build dynamic creative in HTML5. You can now easily choose which data signals/feed attributes to connect to each dynamic element, pulling directly from the dynamic profile you've set up in DoubleClick Studio.
We've already seen some teams find success with the new dynamic workflow. Kaymu, one of the largest online retail marketplaces for emerging markets, used Google Web Designer to build an HTML5 dynamic remarketing campaign and show relevant products to shoppers. This strategy drove a 580% increase in CTR compared to their previous, non-HTML5, non-dynamic campaign, and the team's dynamic creative build time dropped from 3 days to 10 minutes.
CyberAgent, a media agency based in Japan, also used Google Web Designer for a recent dynamic remarketing campaign. To provide the time needed to focus on the creative strategy, the team first automated the bidding and targeting for the campaign. They then could build and test several dynamic templates, using advanced animations and multiple dynamic elements. Ultimately, these advanced creatives led to a 40% higher CTR and a 28% lower CPC compared to the previous dynamic remarketing campaign that didn't use Google Web Designer.
In addition to the new dynamic support in Google Web Designer, we're also excited to launch:
  • Animation improvements, which help you build smooth animations
  • Updates to our text authoring capabilities, which make editing and manipulating the text in your ad units much easier and more intuitive
  • Two new components in our components gallery: a Spritesheet component, so you can more easily build out your spritesheets, and a Streetview component, so you can add location-based imagery to your ads. (We've kept this component separate from the Google Maps component to help you keep your file sizes smaller.)

Upcoming Google Web Designer Hangout on Air

Want to learn more about the new features? Sign up for one of our Hangouts on Air. Sean Kranzberg, Engineering Manager for Google Web Designer, will walk through the new features and take your questions.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 9th @ 12pm ET / 9am PT. RSVP here
  • Thursday, Dec. 10th @ 5pm PT / Friday, Dec. 11th @ 12pm Sydney time (APAC Friendly time) RSVP here
Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, Google Web Designer

Around the world in 48 hours: An experiment in finding new ways to be agile and excellent at the same time

Thursday, November 19, 2015 | 5:00 AM

Good. Fast. Cheap.
Old advertising wisdom says pick two.  In today's world, BBDO says pick three.

The mounting pressure of new channels, an ocean of media, and sophisticated and fickle consumers tuning out everything that doesn't interest them means that brands need all three.

Can agencies be agile and excellent at the same time? The only way to find out, as Andrew Robertson, President and CEO of BBDO Worldwide put it, is to have the “confidence to think a little less and to create and experiment a bit more.”

So what happens when you put 10 creative teams into YouTube Spaces around the world and give them 48 hours to shoot, edit and produce videos that deliver on a global brief? And what happens when you test those films on YouTube to see how they perform in the wild?

YouTube + BBDO + TWIX partnered on the Global Video Create-A-Thon -- a first-of-its-kind, hands-on experience to see what happens when you give 10 teams in four locations limited budgets and 48 hours to create work that resonates globally. Working with Mars and its iconic TWIX global brand, BBDO creatives from around the world were challenged to help TWIX translate its successful “Left TWIX/Right TWIX” fictional rivalry strategy into powerful storytelling that crosses borders. We sought to explore a new way to make content, faster and for less money, without sacrificing quality in today's fast-moving, mobile first landscape.

                          Teams work in YouTube Spaces across São Paulo, London, New York, & Los Angeles.

The ten films then ran as skippable pre-roll on YouTube across three international markets: US, UK and Netherlands. Each creative piece was evaluated for its ability to drive view-through rates and ad recall using YouTube’s TrueView skippable ad platform. A score of 10 was given to the highest performing ad on each of these criteria, and the best performing ad was determined by combined scores across all three markets.

The result?
All 10 ads drove positive ad recall and five of them scored within the top quartile (25%) of all YouTube ads that have been tested since the launch of Brand Lift.

The three top performing ads were not only able to capture people’s attention, but hold it too, successfully leveraging the TWIX rivalry story clearly from the outset:

                                                             YouTube vs YouTube: AMV BBDO London

                                                                      The Romans: CLM BBDO France

                                                               Minotaur: BBDO New York

You can view all ten ads here.

Interestingly, there were no major geographical differences in the performance of the advertising across all three regions. Even with the constraints (time, budget, production), it’s possible to create compelling brand content that crosses borders when you have an insight that is truly global and visual storytelling, told well.

“As we drive toward achieving growth we are proud of for our brands, being a bold fast-mover, thinking globally and taking creative risks is critical to our success,” said Jane Wakely, Global CMO, Mars Chocolate. “In partnering with BBDO and YouTube on this experiment, together we were able to further elevate our TWIX message through powerful storytelling told visually, via agile content creation and across borders.”

TWIX is giving consideration to how best to use this successful content and will be applying the production learnings to future TWIX and other Mars brand projects. In the coming weeks, we’ll share more insights from behind the of scenes of this experiment. Watch this space for more.  

Posted by Sadie Thoma, Head of Creative Agency Partnerships, Agency Sales

Five steps to turn searchers into customers this holiday season

Tuesday, November 10, 2015 | 2:59 PM

The holiday shopping season is a critical time for online marketers and retailers. Last year, consumers spent $616.1 billion on retail purchases during November and December.1 As you might know from Google’s 5 Holiday Shopping Trends to Watch in 2015, 40 percent of that spend occurred online.2
For you, this represents a huge opportunity to reach shoppers, either while they're still researching or when they're actually ready to buy. To help you capture this opportunity, we’ve created the DoubleClick Search Guide to the Holidays that walks through five key steps for holiday success:

  1. Prepare — Unify your data for insights and action, add more data to maximize conversions, use labels to track your promotions, and integrate offline data
  2. Automate — Use bulksheets, automated rules, and inventory-aware campaigns to make your life easier
  3. Measure — Gain valuable insights by setting up scheduled reports, budget pacing reports, formula columns, and Floodlight activity columns, then analyze and monitor your performance
  4. Optimize — Use real-time data to make adjustments with the DoubleClick Search Performance Bidding Suite, Adaptive Shopping campaigns, and remarketing
  5. Plan ahead — Create executive reports, review purchase details to see how well you did this year, and save your budget pacing reports

You can also watch the recording of our recent Hangout On Air to learn tips and tools for maximizing performance and profits during the holiday period from Henry Tappen, Product Manager at DoubleClick Search.

Happy Holidays!

Posted by Nick Macrae
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick Search

1 National Retail Federation, “Retail Holiday Sales Increase 4 Percent,” January 14, 2015.
2 Ipsos MediaCT, Google Post Holiday Shopping Intentions Study, January 2015, n=1,167.

Investing in Choice: New Viewability options on YouTube

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 | 8:10 AM

Labels: ,

If you can’t measure it, how do you know it worked? With this simple principle in mind, we’ve been investing in a broad set of measurement solutions for brands through a combination of product innovation with our own solutions like Brand Lift and Active View and partnerships with leading third parties like comScore and Nielsen on GRPs.

Viewability has long been a focus for us. Built on the foundation of our Active View technology, we launched the ability to buy only viewable impressions on the Google Display Network back in December 2013 and recently completed moving over the last advertiser campaigns from CPMs to viewable CPMs. We’ve worked to ensure viewability rates on YouTube are amongst the industry’s highest. And Active View now works seamlessly across video, display, mobile web and mobile apps (on YouTube and for publishers using DoubleClick for Publishers), and has been adopted by over 80% of advertisers using the DoubleClick platform.

With the MRC-defined industry standard as a base-line for viewability, we are also helping advertisers and agencies go beyond transacting on the industry standard to also measure individual viewability objectives. In order to support this we have begun launching supplementary metrics in Active View, like the ability to see average viewable time and soon when an ad is 100% in view for any length in time. These are the first few in a lineup of supplementary metrics that will provide advertisers with additional data points relevant to their specific campaigns and needs.

Announcing 3rd party viewability reporting on YouTube - bringing you more choice

Today, we're continuing our approach of driving product innovation and supporting choice by announcing that we're broadening the options for advertisers measuring viewability on YouTube. Along with Active View, advertisers will also be able to choose from third party vendors.

Moat, Integral AdScience, comScore and DoubleVerify are a select set of third party vendors that have been approved to report ad viewability on YouTube, beginning with Moat in early 2016. Through these partnerships, we’ll continue to expand measurement options for marketers on YouTube, while maintaining the highest levels of security and privacy for users, advertisers and creators.

“Independent 3rd party verification is extremely important to ensuring that our clients’ media is running as effectively and efficiently as possible. As a long-time partner, IPG Mediabrands is pleased to see Google continue its work to move the industry forward on viewability by allowing independent verification of YouTube, and applaud this recent decision.”
Mitchell Weinstein, SVP Ad Operations, IPG Mediabrands

Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Unilever added:
"Having partners like Google address these challenges helps to push the entire industry forward. This move will generate better industry-wide standards across viewability and third party verification practices and continues the momentum in the right direction."
Keith Weed, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Unilever
Stay tuned for continued investments in the viewability space, including ongoing product innovation updates to Active View as well as additional partnerships. Together with our partners, our goal is to help our clients measure every moment that matters.

Posted by Sanaz Ahari
Group Product Manager, Brand Measurement, Google

Winning the shift to mobile: A new guide to mastering micro-moments

Thursday, September 24, 2015 | 7:30 AM

Mobile has changed the marketing world. Today we're launching an executive guide that shows how brands like Sephora, Virgin America, Walgreens and Home Depot are conquering that new world. It's called Micro-Moments: Your Guide to Winning the Shift to Mobile.

Smartphones have given marketers billions of new daily moments to connect with people. Some of those moments are better for marketing than others, of course: you’re not looking for brand engagement as you post your vacation photos from Bermuda to make your friends jealous.

But there are many more moments when we all turn to our devices and welcome what brands have to say. Those are the I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I want-to-do, and I want-to-buy moments when we look for answers, plan ahead and make decisions. At Google, we call these micro-moments.

In these micro-moments, consumers are often more loyal to their immediate needs than to a particular brand. In fact, 65% of smartphone users say that when searching on their smartphones, they look for the most relevant information regardless of the company providing the information.

That makes micro-moments a real land of opportunity. And there's a clear way for brands to win: Identify the moments that matter to their customers, commit to being there with relevant and useful content, and deliver frictionless experiences across devices and channels.

It's essential to be useful: only 9% of users will stay on a mobile site or app if they can't find what they want, it's too slow or it just doesn’t satisfy their needs.

Our new micro-moments guide can help your brand win the shift to mobile and crack the micro-moments code. It’s full of actionable insights to help you...

  • Be There: Anticipate the micro-moments for users in your industry, and be in place when they happen.

  • Be Useful: Be relevant to consumers’ micro-moment needs and connect them to the answers and content they’re looking for.

  • Be Quick: Deliver a fast and frictionless mobile experience.

  • Connect the Dots: Reshape your measurement strategy and teams to extract the full value of micro-moments on all screens and channels.
Download the micro-moments guide and look over the executive summary. We hope the brand studies in particular will inspire ideas for your clients’ content, campaigns and mobile site and app experiences.

1. Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Wave 3, Google/Ipsos, U.S., August 2015, n=1291 online smartphone users 18+
2. Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Wave 3, Google/Ipsos, U.S., August 2015, n=1291 online smartphone users 18+

Explore New Data With The Interactive Travel Dashboard

Tuesday, August 25, 2015 | 12:08 PM

Wherever travelers go, they're online. Whether planning a trip, navigating a new city, or sharing vacation memories, they turn to the web, using whatever device is at hand. This has completely reshaped the path to purchase, creating many moments of intent. 

Our new interactive travel dashboard uses Google data to show just when those moments happen and how travelers search. Each quarter, we'll be updating the tool to show the latest trends across the car rental, air, and hotel categories so you can plan for the season ahead.

One big trend to watch, as always, is how travelers use smartphones to plan trips. As of March 2015, mobile searches are up 32% YoY for air travel—and 39% YoY for hotels. But the data doesn't just show how people are searching—it also shows where they are looking to go. The top itinerary in summer 2014? Los Angeles to Las Vegas.

For more valuable stats and insights, explore the interactive travel dashboard on Think with Google.