Insights into the Google Preferred audience on YouTube

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 | 6:00 AM

Today, viewers have more choice than ever when it comes to watching their favorite video content and TV shows. Whether on their laptops, phones, or connected devices, people are spending less time watching “traditional TV” and more time consuming content on their own terms on the screen of their choice.

To help marketers better understand this online video audience, we worked with Compete to analyze how Google Preferred desktop viewers in the U.S. consume content on YouTube, through online desktop panel and survey data from Compete1. We found that desktop viewers who watch Google Preferred (some of YouTube's most popular channels) tend to be younger, more likely to be online shoppers in market for products, and importantly, the majority are viewers not reached through other video platforms2.

Reaching viewers who don’t visit other platforms
Marketers can no longer rely on traditional TV alone to reach their audience, as the abundance of content choices to consumers today mean that people are consuming content in more places. In fact, we found that nearly one in 10 Google Preferred desktop viewers do not watch traditional TV at all and 90% of them do not visit any of the top five full episode players2.

Younger audiences are also heavily represented on YouTube and on Google Preferred specifically, where viewers skew younger than the online population. We found that 18-34 year-olds who watch video on smartphones go to YouTube first for online video, 2.3X as likely or more than other platforms3.

Influencing online shoppers through Google Preferred
We also found in our Compete research that Google Preferred desktop viewers are more likely to be actively shopping for products online. They are 2.7x more likely to be in-market online shoppers than the online population. In terms of the types of products they’re searching for, shopping areas span a large variety of products. Of particular note, Google Preferred desktop viewers we studied are 182% more likely to be in market for luxury cars, 166% more likely for apparel, 170% more likely for beauty, 195% more likely for computers and tablets, and 148% more likely for home furnishings, than the online population.

People who watch Google Preferred channels are also more likely to take action. Our Compete research found that Google Preferred desktop viewers are 29% more likely to visit a brand site immediately after visiting YouTube, versus the general YouTube viewers. And they’re 46% more likely to search for a brand on YouTube they’re in market for versus the average YouTube viewer. Google Preferred desktop viewers we studied are 24% more likely to research a product after seeing an online ad on YouTube, than those who watch full episode players2.

To learn more about how Google Preferred can drive effectiveness for campaigns, check out ThinkWithGoogle.   
1. Google/Millward Brown Digital Google Preferred Audience Study (US), February 2015
2. Full episode players are Hulu,,,, and
3. Google/IPSOS Brand Building on Mobile Survey (US), February 2015. Other platforms include all key online video platforms including full episode players, digital stores, social networks, and streaming sites.

TrueView coming to DoubleClick: User choice meets programmatic

Thursday, April 16, 2015 | 12:23 PM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertiser blog.

Today at Programmatic I/O in San Francisco, we are announcing our latest investment to help brands make the most of digital: the TrueView ad format will be available for programmatic buying within DoubleClick Bid Manager.

This launch brings together two important trends we’re seeing: the importance of user choice in advertising and the ability to reach the right person at the right time with programmatic buying.

We introduced TrueView, an innovative cost-per-view (CPV) ad format, five years ago as a way to put user choice at the heart of brand advertising. With TrueView, viewers choose to engage, and brands only pay when they do. Today, the format is a brand mainstay, representing 85% of all in-stream ads on YouTube. And based on a recent study, we’ve seen that two-thirds of TrueView campaigns deliver significant lift in brand interest.

In parallel, programmatic buying has evolved from just a real-time bidding tool for direct response campaigns to an important technology and data-driven solution for brand building. Across our own platforms, we’ve seen the volume of programmatic transactions double year-over-year. With the consumer journey now fractured into many "micro-moments" across screens, programmatic can help brands understand and reach their audiences across devices and formats.

In the next few months, marketers and agencies will be able to buy the TrueView choice-based video ad format on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis through DoubleClick Bid Manager. This is the first time TrueView has been available outside of AdWords, allowing DoubleClick clients to take advantage of features like cross-campaign frequency capping, unified audience insights, measurement and billing across campaigns.

Some of our partners are already seeing success:

"At Netflix, we have always embraced consumer choice. In the advertising world, TrueView is the epitome of that choice. The fact that we can now scale it further via DoubleClick Bid Manager represents a powerful new channel for marketing our content across the world." 
Mike Zeman, Director of Digital Marketing, Netflix

“TrueView has empowered us to give our consumers greater choice while delivering a better engaging viewer experience. As an early adopter of the TrueView beta in DoubleClick Bid Manager in the UK we have seen great success in achieving our CPV goals.”
                                                         NestlĂ© UK

“We’re really excited to bring TrueView on DoubleClick Bid Manager into our video campaign arsenal. This deepens our ability to achieve client success metrics on highly relevant and viewable video inventory combined with universal controls around targeting, frequency management and reporting.” 
Ian Johnson, EVP and MD, Global Product at Cadreon

“TrueView in DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) allows us to strengthen our branding offering while benefiting from significant efficiency gains. Once we can leverage DBM’s capabilities such as 3rd party audience targeting and universal frequency capping, we will have a very powerful
value proposition for advertisers.” 
Roli Okoro, Director of AOD, Middle East and North Africa

This adds to our ongoing investments to help brands get the most out of the programmatic landscape like Google Partner Select, Active View, Verification and brand safety protections. We're committed to providing the most complete programmatic platform to our brand partners to help them connect with their audiences in all the moments that matter. Stay tuned for even more in the months to come.

Neal Mohan, Vice President of Display and Video Advertising Products

5 Years of TrueView: How user choice is ushering in the next golden age of video advertising

Wednesday, April 8, 2015 | 6:00 AM

“Focus on the user and all else will follow." Those words have guided Google from the days working out of a garage in Menlo Park. While advertising may not often be seen as a user-first industry, we believe focusing on the user applies as much to ads as it does to any other product at Google. When we launched search ads, we put the user first by matching consumer intent with ads - people chose to click on an ad, and advertisers paid nothing if they didn’t.

Five years ago, we took that same concept and brought it to video with the introduction of TrueView. At the time, people thought we were crazy: “who would choose to watch an ad?” But it turns out, people do choose to watch ads...more than 100 million times in some cases. Video advertising in general is moving toward user choice - as people can fast forward, skip, close the screen. But with choice comes opportunity, and we’re seeing more creative, engaging, and entertaining ads now than ever before. In fact, last year four of the top 10 trending videos of the year were created by brands.

Today marks the fifth anniversary since we began testing TrueView as a video ad format. We've come a long way in five short years; all of the top 100 global brands have run TrueView ads over the past year, and 95% of TrueView advertisers have run campaigns across screens.1 We’re also seeing strong growth in new advertisers adopting TrueView, as the number of advertisers using TrueView grew 45% in 20142.

To see how video ads have evolved over the past five years, we took a quick trip down memory lane:

Since launching TrueView, we've invested in providing new tools to empower advertisers to create ads that people want to watch. Measurement tools like Brand Lift and Earned Action reports help answer questions around how people watch content, and the impact that views have on brand metrics. Likewise, product enhancements such as mobile app promotions and 360 video are enabling advertisers to use TrueView as a creative canvas to engage their customers.

And we have big things coming in 2015. We're continuing to evolve TrueView to make an even better creative platform for brands - and our first step comes with the launch of cards on TrueView. Cards provide a beautiful platform for viewer interactivity with ads, making it easy for viewers to watch more of your videos, playlists, or connect to your website directly from the ad regardless of whether it’s shown on a desktop or mobile device. For more info on cards, check out our blog post.

By giving viewers this choice, everyone wins – viewers only watch ads that interest them, and brands are rewarded for creating interesting content that people want to watch. We’re excited to continue to innovate with video ads, and look forward to the next five years of YouTube.

  1. YouTube global data, 2014. Top 100 brands defined by Interbrand Top 100 Global Brands list.
  2. YouTube global data, 2013 vs. 2014

New Infographic Shows Finance Trends Throughout The Year

Thursday, April 2, 2015 | 1:00 PM

As tax season hits crunch time, we all have money on our minds. But it’s not just in April that consumers are thinking of ways to spend and save—it’s all year-round. 

From January to December, people are constantly thinking about their bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and 401Ks. And increasingly, they’re using smartphones to search for relevant information; mobile searches for those topics are growing 48% YoY.
On Think with Google, our finance calendar shows what they’re looking for throughout the year. Marketers can use this calendar to stay ahead of the trends, reaching consumers when they need help the most.

So what financial products and topics are consumers searching for now? And what will they search for months from now? Here are a few seasonal highlights to keep in mind:
  • In July, searches for travel rewards peak. As consumers try to plan affordable summer getaways, they check if their credit cards can help out.
  • In August, searches for college financing peak. As back-to-school season begins, parents and students try to figure out how to pay for a college education.
  • In January, searches for 401Ks and savings products peak. A new year means a new approach to savings, as consumers aim to secure a bright future.

Find out more key moments when money matters in our finance calendar infographic on Think with Google.

LGBT Advertising: Brands Take a Stand on Equality

| 10:30 AM

Today’s brands are held accountable not only for their products and services but, increasingly, for their stance on political and social issues. As more and more attention is focused on equal rights for the LGBT community—specifically, marriage equality and workplace diversity—consumers are appreciating when brands take a stand.

New data from Google and YouTube shows that messages about equality for the LGBT community have widespread impact, especially among millennials. More than 45% of consumers under 34 years old say they're more likely to do repeat business with an LGBT-friendly company. Of those young people, more than 54% also say they'd choose an equality-focused brand over a competitor.

Brands are responding with messages that support inclusion, equality, and diversity. For example, Burger King’s Be Your Way campaign introduced the Proud Whopper, featuring a rainbow-colored wrapper with a special message: “We are all the same inside.” And Honey Maid’s This Is Wholesome campaign celebrated the diversity of the modern family.

These pride advertising campaigns have been remarkably successful. The Proud Whopper ad reached 20% of the U.S. population, and young millennials over-indexed by 4.8X. As for Honey Maid’s ad, more than 8M people watched the 30-second spot on YouTube, and 97% of those views came from its target demographic: 25- to 54-year-olds.

Check out the full article on Think with Google for a deeper dive into these campaigns, with more stats and insights about the impact of LGBT advertising.

Evolution of TV: The Promise of Programmatic TV

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 | 12:00 PM

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertiser Blog

This post is part of DoubleClick's Evolution of TV series. In this series we identify the risks and opportunities around 7 dynamics transforming the advertising landscape as TV programming shifts to delivery over the Internet.

Television advertising is big business. How big? TV ad spending in the U.S. is projected to reach almost $84 billion per year by 2018. Traditionally, many of these billions are spent during upfronts—that time of year when traditional TV networks and, increasingly, digital media companies gather to present their fall lineups and pitch marketers for ad dollars. Whatever TV inventory hasn't been sold, or is held back, is then sold in what is called the scatter market.

While this traditional TV buying and selling model has worked well for decades, it's not without its inefficiencies. "Programmatic TV" is a likely solution that could apply digital advertising's efficiency models to improve TV advertising.

We define "programmatic TV" as a technology-automated and data-driven method of buying and delivering ads against TV content. This includes digital TV ads served across the web, mobile devices, and connected TVs, as well as linear TV ads served across set-top boxes.

As with any new technology, though, the programmatic TV offerings on the market today fall short of the full potential of the technology. As a result, programmatic TV skeptics have reason to ask “why change what’s not broken?” We’re here to say that, while the TV buying and selling process isn’t exactly broken, there's a role for programmatic TV to make it better.

In Part 3 in our Evolution of TV series we dispel the hype about programmatic TV, address the challenges, and concentrate on its promise for brand advertisers, programmers, and broadcasters.

Download the PDF from Think with Google for the in-depth story.

Rany Ng,
Director of Product Management, Video

Go behind the scenes of CLEAN & CLEAR®’s content marketing strategy

| 6:00 AM

In the last year, Americans have doubled their digital video viewing, and brands are responding accordingly—focusing more on video marketing than ever before. In fact, many are building comprehensive strategies around YouTube campaigns. And when brands go big on video, the rewards can be even bigger.
For instance, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Companies brand CLEAN & CLEAR® earned millions of YouTube views for its anchor series, SEE THE REAL ME®. More importantly, it boosted market share by double digits.

On Think with Google, we talked to Kacey Dreby, group brand director at CLEAN & CLEAR®, about the keys to developing a relevant and engaging digital video strategy. Here’s what she had to say:

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 11.34.57 AM.png

On choosing YouTube to host the series
"TV and chronological social channels can feel fleeting. If your audience isn't watching that show or checking their feed that day, it's gone. We chose YouTube as a hub in part because our content lives there for as long as we want. Our YouTube channel is a collection, a library, a content repository. People on YouTube care less about when a video is posted and more about whether or not it's relevant to them in the moment."

On real-time marketing for live events like the MTV Video Music Awards
"There's a fallacy out there that real-time marketing happens at the last minute. A lot of our content was at least partially created before the VMAs ever began. Our creative team prepared content for different outcomes or situations that could occur during the event. They designed and wrote content that can be manipulated easily in the moment. That way, almost everything could be approved ahead of time, and all the team had to do to make it relevant was swap in a word here or a photo there."

On establishing a two-way dialogue
"For us, content isn't 'we post; you respond.' We stick around to have an authentic, ongoing, two-way dialogue with our fans.…To prepare for that audience interaction, we carefully train every community manager (CM) who works with us. We figure out as a team what the message should be in the various situations they'll encounter, and then we train our CMs to adjust that generic messaging so that we sound personal, never forced or canned."

Read more of our Q&A on Think with Google to find out the lessons CLEAN & CLEAR® learned—that any brand can put into practice.