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

Introducing DoubleClick Planning: unifying cross-channel planning and buying

Wednesday, August 27, 2014 | 1:51 PM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertisers blog

Starting today, DoubleClick clients will have a brand new way to manage their planning and buying: DoubleClick Planning. In today’s fragmented media landscape, marketers need a simple way to put their marketing dollars to work across channels and screens, whether the media is bought programmatically or traditionally. DoubleClick Planning begins to unify programmatic and traditional reservation inventory management, enabling you to carry out all of your buys in one place. 

We will host a live webinar (register here) and discuss the feature at IAB MIXX, but in the meantime, we chatted with Adam Champy, lead Product Manager for DoubleClick Planning, to hear his thoughts on the changing digital media landscape and thinking behind DoubleClick Planning.

Q: What is the vision for DoubleClick Planning?
A: Marketers can only make better decisions if they are looking at their media plans holistically - across all channels and screens. Our goal is to help marketers and agencies make smarter buying decisions, seamlessly coordinate with inventory providers, and ultimately drive better campaign performance. To achieve this, we had to rethink how buyers and sellers communicate - challenging today’s methods and timelines in the traditional RFP process. The vision for DoubleClick Planning is to help marketers and agencies do just this: plan, discover, and acquire inventory in one place, across channels and screens. 

Q: How does DoubleClick Planning fit in today’s digital media buying landscape?
A: We are seeing that digital media teams today are trying to break down the silos that are in the way of making fast, smart decisions. One critical divide has been between channels and media - as specialized teams and platforms were built to tackle one particular piece of the digital marketing puzzle - such as programmatic-, mobile-, or video-specific platforms. As a result, most products in the market today don’t help marketers and agencies actually make decisions across channels and all types of buys.

We started to address this with the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform, built to unify the process and enable a true cross-media customer experience. Now, DoubleClick Planning is a tool within the platform that brings together reservations and programmatic capabilities to help marketers and agencies discover and buy the best inventory, regardless of how it is bought. DoubleClick Planning was built to help teams work better together, across the customer journey, with the following features:

Today
  • Two-way sync between planning and campaign execution 
    • Most of the information required to traffic campaigns is already generated during the planning process. Now you can take advantage of that, with the seamless integration of planning and campaign execution, by pushing campaign information directly into trafficking.
  • Efficient Request for Proposal (RFP) process
    • Create, issue, and track RFPs so publishers can provide inventory options that meet your goals. You can also track negotiations and publisher provided inventory electronically.
  • IO management and billing actualization
    • Create order documents like insertion orders and change orders with custom terms and contracts. And create billing actualization reports to measure delivery against contracted amounts.
In the next few months
  • Unified Alerts
    • Automatically get alerts and notifications about discrepancies between planning and trafficking, including under-delivery and verification errors.
  • Integrating DoubleClick Insights 
    • Learn from previous campaign data and optimize media allocation across channels and inventory sources with auto-generated insights built directly into DoubleClick Planning.
Q: What is the plan for MediaVisor?
A: MediaVisor has served our customers well over the years, but this new world of buying and planning requires new tools. We’ll be winding down support for MediaVisor by the end of 2014 and working with our customers to transition them to the new tool

Q: Looking ahead, what are the major opportunities for digital planners and buyers in the next year?
A: First, there is a major opportunity to make media planning and buying even more efficient. For example, in the next few months, we’ll be bringing automation to traditional reservations. The elements that make products like DoubleClick Bid Manager so powerful - direct access to inventory, zero-discrepancy clearing, and buyer data and targeting - will become available for guaranteed reservation deals. 

Second, marketers will begin to consolidate their insights across channels and screens, building one, integrated media plan across all types of buys. Whether a published proposed inventory or you are buying on an exchange, you will be able to put together a multi-channel plan, and get a unified view of your inventory portfolio.

Faster and more efficient cross-channel planning will enable more responsive strategies, better discoverability of unique inventory sources, and ultimately, better campaign performance.

Learn more about DoubleClick Planning by registering for our webinar with the product team, which will include a live demo and time for Q&A.

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

Are your Product Listing Ads ready for August 31st?

Thursday, August 21, 2014 | 8:20 AM

Cross-posted from the Inside Adwords blog

Earlier this month, we introduced an upgrade tool for advertisers to upgrade to Shopping campaigns quickly and easily. If you’ve already upgraded, then you’re all set. If you haven’t upgraded yet and don’t do it by the end of this month, the following is what will happen to your regular Product Listing Ads (PLA) campaigns come September.
  • Phase 1: Limited functionality of all regular PLA campaigns - Starting September 2nd, you will not be able to edit your product targeting, max. CPC bids, promotional text and destination URLs anymore. Campaign statuses and budgets will remain editable so you can manage your spend until your regular PLA campaigns are auto-upgraded to Shopping campaigns.
  • Phase 2: Auto-upgrade to Shopping campaigns - Throughout September, regular PLA campaigns that received impressions in the preceding few weeks will be auto-upgraded to a new Shopping campaign with a similar campaign structure. Some regular PLA campaigns, settings and bids might not carry over to your new Shopping campaign due to technical limitations. Once your regular PLA campaigns are auto-upgraded, you’ll receive an email notification and your regular PLA campaigns will stop serving PLAs. Further details on the auto-upgrade are in the AdWords Help Center.

Don’t wait to upgrade
As a final reminder, upgrade your campaigns before September to ensure they are set up as you’d like. We recommend using the upgrade tool as it walks you through the upgrade process step by step.

For more information, visit this help center article on the retirement of regular PLA campaigns and the automatic upgrade to Shopping campaigns. If you have any questions, reach out to the AdWords Community Forum or contact us.

Posted by Eric Tholomé, Director of Product Management, Google Shopping

When the Path to Purchase Becomes the Path to Purpose

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 | 12:35 PM

Today’s consumers are spoiled for choice. With new technologies delivering more media on more devices than ever before, their options for content are limitless. Faced with this surplus, consumers are choosing to engage only with content that is personally relevant to them, their purpose and their passions. This new consumer mind-set has implications for their purchasing behavior—consumers shop with the same purpose that they consume content. To understand how to engage them on their "path to purpose," Ogilvy, TNS and Google surveyed recent purchasers of auto vehicles, beauty products and smartphones. THE RESULTS uncovered three new opportunities for brand advertisers:
  1. Purpose = Purchase. More than ever, brand purpose is critical to break through the clutter and drive purchases.

  2. Power of Influence > Power of Time. Counterintuitive as it may be, our research shows very little correlation between media usage and media influence. We need to focus on influence over usage.

  3. Experience > Exposure. Brands that provide consumers with deep experiences of their product—and manage to generate an emotional experience of ownership—win at the point of purchase.
Click here to learn more about the findings and the implications they bring to marketers.