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Nearly 60% of smartphone users expect their favorite apps to look visually appealing1. We’ve always believed that in-app ads can enhance an app’s overall experience by being well designed. So today we’re announcing a completely new look for our interstitial in-app ad formats - also known as full-screen ads - that run on apps in the AdMob network and DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

Inspired by Material Design, the new app install interstitial comes with a beautiful cover photo, a round install button, and matching color schemes. Technology called “color extraction” makes the ads more consistent with the brand's look and feel -- we extract a dominant color either from the cover photo or app icon and apply it to the footer and install button. We found that having a greater variety of designs and colors can improve conversion rate.

Other features include the app’s rating, and a screenshot gallery which appears when a user taps ‘More images’, so users can learn more about the app without leaving the ad.

The previous design for our app install ads on the left, and our new version on the right.

Different examples of color matching.

Our app install formats have driven more than a billion downloads across Android and iOS. You can use these new designs automatically when you run a mobile app install campaign on the AdMob network in AdWords. That’s right, no extra work required!

Next, our new text-based ads are easier to read, and contain a larger headline and a round call-to-action button that clicks through to a website.

On the left, the previous text ad interstitial design, and the new version on the right.

As with other ad format innovations, our ads UI team test multiple designs - ten in this case over the course of a year - to find final versions that increase clicks and conversions for advertisers, and a positive experience for users. Both app install and text ad formats appear within the app and can be closed easily, so users can return to what they were doing with a single tap.

As we announced at Google I/O this year, the volume of interstitial impressions has more than doubled across AdMob since last July, so now’s a great time to get your business in front of more app users.

If you’re a developer looking to learn more about earning with in-app interstitial ads in your app, visit AdMob now. These new designs will also be available to developers monetizing their apps with DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

Posted by Pasha Nahass
Product Manager

1. Mobile App Marketing Insights: How Consumers Really Find and Use Your Apps, Google & Ipsos Media CT, May 2015

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As a brand trying to reach consumers in today’s increasingly fragmented media landscape, it is critical that you understand the impact of your ads on brand metrics such as awareness and consideration.

Viewability is the starting point, an initial understanding of whether the ad had a chance to be seen. We have talked before about why measuring the viewability of advertising matters.

In December 2014, we shared insights on the state of display ad viewability across the web. As a continuation of that effort, in May we released new insights from our video ad platforms, including YouTube, to start the discussion about the state of video ad viewability.


We wanted to take this research a step further, by analyzing the relationship between viewability and brand metrics.

To do so, we took our Brand Lift solution, which gives you insights into what impact your ads have on the consumer journey - from awareness, to ad recall, to brand interest - and tied the data to viewability metrics from our Active View technology for a set of YouTube TrueView ads. By connecting these two solutions, we were able to draw out some insights about the relationship between viewability and brand metrics.

Sight, sound and motion combined drive higher lift

When it comes to brand metrics, ad recall is a foundation for measuring the impact of your ad. As a brand advertiser, knowing if your ad breaks through with users is a key first step to understanding the overall impact of an ad on a suite of brand metrics. In this analysis, we were able to analyze how being able to hear and see your ad affected a user’s ability to recall your ad.

Our data shows that users exposed to even one aspect of your video ad (audio or video only), exhibit significant lift in ad recall. However, the full immersive experience of sight, sound and motion delivers more ad recall than either audio or video alone. In fact, the impact on ad recall was 23% higher when users were exposed to ads with audio and video together versus ads with just audio alone.

The longer in view, the better you do (on brand metrics)

Time in view also plays a large role when it comes to moving the needle on brand awareness and consideration. We recently introduced the ability for Active View users to measure average viewable time - the average time, in seconds, a given ad appeared on screen - in Doubleclick Bid Manager. By connecting these measurements, we can see the relationship between viewable time and brand metrics.

We found that there is a consistent relationship between how long an ad is viewable and increases in brand awareness and consideration. The longer a user views your ad, the higher the lift in these two important brand metrics


What the results mean for your brand

These results prompt you to think about your brand advertising in a few important ways:
  • Are users viewing your creative for longer periods of time? Brand metrics continue to get higher the longer a user views your ad.
  • Are you buying the right media to have an impact on brand metrics? YouTube’s opt-in TrueView ads are uniquely suited to deliver long-form video content at scale for brand advertisers.
  • Finally, are you thinking beyond viewability to capture effectiveness metrics? You want your ads to move consumers at the moments that matter, and measuring the impact on brand metrics will make for more effective ad spend.
This is just the beginning of understanding what impacts brand metrics for video ads. As brands look to measure the effectiveness of their digital video advertising, a continued understanding of what factors drive brand metrics will be crucial to more effective brand spend.

Read further research on the impact of online video.

To read all of our research on viewability, check out thinkwithgoogle.com/viewability.

To see how viewability is measured, visit our interactive Active View demo.
Posted by Sanaz Ahari
Group Product Manager, Brand Measurement, Google

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Over the past few years we’ve been committed to investing in a suite of new metrics that would be as actionable for brand marketers as the click has become for performance advertising. In that spirit, today we are announcing a new GRP solution, comScore vCE in DoubleClick, and updates to our Active View viewability solution.

Our goal is to enable brand marketers to answer some essential questions about the success of their campaigns:

Announcing an update to Active View - Ensuring your ads are seen

If a human being never has a chance to see your ad, then nothing else matters - the campaign will not succeed. That’s why we’ve been steadily introducing Active View technology across our product suite: the ability to buy based on viewability in AdWords, and reporting on viewability in our DoubleClick advertiser and publisher platforms. In a recent study that we published we found that 46% of all video ads on the web did not even have a chance to be seen. This contextualized the importance of video viewability and the launch of Active View for Video a few months ago.

We are firm believers in the IAB / MRC standard as the minimum viable definition for a viewable impression. We also recognize that there is a need for secondary metrics that complement the single standard and support individual advertisers’ objectives. In light of this, we are announcing that starting today, Active View users will be able to measure average viewable time - the average time, in seconds, a given ad appeared on screen - in DoubleClick Bid Manager.

Since introducing Active View, we’ve seen tremendous momentum with over 80% of clients having adopted our viewability technology. These advertiser and publisher clients have told us time and again that they would like to use Active View to measure viewability across all their media buys. So we are working with these clients to expand Active View beyond Google’s media and platforms.

Announcing comScore vCE in DoubleClick: Ensuring you reach the right audience faster

Last year we announced our partnership with comScore to bring to market a completely tagless and digitally actionable metric that would make real-time GRP measurement a reality for advertisers and publishers. Today we are announcing the culmination of that partnership: comScore vCE in DoubleClick.

comScore vCE in DoubleClick is the first independent, completely tagless, audience delivery measurement service to be directly integrated into an ad server and will give advertisers and publishers a trusted comScore audience measurement solution for both video and display that is effortless to set up and actionable.
This new GRP measurement solution is now widely available for all of our DoubleClick customers across DoubleClick Digital Marketing and DoubleClick for Publishers. This means advertisers can now see if they’re reaching their target audience as it happens. And publishers will be able to make adjustments during the course of a campaign to meet their advertisers’ needs -- no more after the fact reporting and make-goods.

With this tagless and single-click workflow, advertiser and publisher clients will have 100% coverage. Publishers will have the ability to forecast their audience availability to ensure they meet advertiser commitments. For advertisers, in addition to scheduled reports we are introducing new audience cards that surface reports with simple and easy to read visuals.



Measurement Matters

We will continue to look for opportunities to raise the bar on measurement through a combination of product innovation and partnership with industry leaders.

We’re excited about the progress we’ve made in enabling advertisers to ensure that their ads reached the right audience and were actually seen. But our biggest investments in measurement still lie ahead as we work to help advertisers understand what their audiences thought and ultimately did as a result of seeing their ads.
Posted by Sanaz Ahari
Group Product Manager, Brand Measurement, Google

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As more brand dollars move to digital, and the technology supporting digital advertising evolves, publishers have a tremendous opportunity to boost their revenues and profits. However, capitalizing on this opportunity requires publishers to evolve their sales strategies, fast.

As programmatic buying continues to grow, one of the first steps publishers must take is to adopt a holistic cross-channel ad sales strategy.

A new op-ed by Paul Zwillenberg, Global Leader of The Boston Consulting Group’s Media Sector, explores this idea and shares the strategies and tactics employed by today’s most successful digital publishers.

Head on over to DoubleClick.com to read the full article.

Posted by Yamini Gupta
Product Marketing, DoubleClick

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Today the Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) announced a new pilot blacklist to protect advertisers across the industry. This blacklist comprises data-center IP addresses associated with non-human ad requests. We're happy to support this effort along with other industry leaders—Dstillery, Facebook, MediaMath, Quantcast, Rubicon Project, The Trade Desk, TubeMogul and Yahoo—and contribute our own data-center blacklist. As mentioned to Ad Age and in our recent call to action, we believe that if we work together we can raise the fraud-fighting bar for the whole industry.

Data-center traffic is one of many types of non-human or illegitimate ad traffic. The newly shared blacklist identifies web robots or “bots” that are being run in data centers but that avoid detection by the IAB/ABC International Spiders & Bots List. Well-behaved bots announce that they're bots as they surf the web by including a bot identifier in their declared User-Agent strings. The bots filtered by this new blacklist are different. They masquerade as human visitors by using User-Agent strings that are indistinguishable from those of typical web browsers.

In this post, we take a closer look at a few examples of data-center traffic to show why it’s so important to filter this traffic across the industry.

Impact of the data-center blacklist

When observing the traffic generated by the IP addresses in the newly shared blacklist, we found significantly distorted click metrics. In May of 2015 on DoubleClick Campaign Manager alone, we found the blacklist filtered 8.9% of all clicks. Without filtering these clicks from campaign metrics, advertiser click-through rates would have been incorrect and for some advertisers this error would have been very large.

Below is a plot that shows how much click-through rates in May would have been inflated across the most impacted of DoubleClick Campaign Manager’s larger advertisers.

hidden ad slots -- meaning that not only was the traffic fake, but the ads couldn’t have been seen even if they had been legitimate human visitors.

http://vedgre.com/7/gg.html is illustrative of these nine webpages with hidden ad slots. The webpage has no visible content other than a single 300×250px ad. This visible ad is actually in a 300×250px iframe that includes two ads, the second of which is hidden. Additionally, there are also twenty-seven 0×0px hidden iframes on this page with each hidden iframe including two ad slots. In total there are fifty-five hidden ads on this page and one visible ad. Finally, the ads served on http://vedgre.com/7/gg.html appear to advertisers as though they have been served on legitimate websites like indiatimes.com, scotsman.com, autotrader.co.uk, allrecipes.com, dictionary.com and nypost.com, because the tags used on http://vedgre.com/7/gg.html to request the ad creatives have been deliberately spoofed.

An example of collateral damage

Unlike the traffic described above, there is also automated data-center traffic that impacts advertising campaigns but that hasn’t been generated for malicious purposes. An interesting example of this is an advertising competitive intelligence company that is generating a large volume of undeclared non-human traffic.

This company uses bots to scrape the web to find out which ad creatives are being served on which websites and at what scale. The company’s scrapers also click ad creatives to analyze the landing page destinations. To provide its clients with the most accurate possible intelligence, this company’s scrapers operate at extraordinary scale and they also do so without including bot identifiers in their User-Agent strings.

While the aim of this company is not to cause advertisers to pay for fake traffic, the company’s scrapers do waste advertiser spend. They not only generate non-human impressions; they also distort the metrics that advertisers use to evaluate campaign performance—in particular, click metrics. Looking at the data across DoubleClick Campaign Manager this company’s scrapers were responsible for 65% of the automated data-center clicks recorded in the month of May.

Going forward

Google has always invested to prevent this and other types of invalid traffic from entering our ad platforms. By contributing our data-center blacklist to TAG, we hope to help others in the industry protect themselves.

We’re excited by the collaborative spirit we’ve seen working with other industry leaders on this initiative. This is an important, early step toward tackling fraudulent and illegitimate inventory across the industry and we look forward to sharing more in the future. By pooling our collective efforts and working with industry bodies, we can create strong defenses against those looking to take advantage of our ecosystem. We look forward to working with the TAG Anti-fraud working group to turn this pilot program into an industry-wide tool.

Posted by Vegard Johnsen
Product Manager, Google Ad Traffic Quality

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Publishers’ growth in programmatic revenue is outpacing traditional direct sales for desktop and mobile across display and video advertising. New technologies like “programmatic guaranteed” are further blurring the lines between direct and programmatic channels.

A new study by The Boston Consulting Group, commissioned by Google, found that despite this trend, many publishers are failing to appropriately capitalize on the programmatic opportunity. For example, the study found that less than 25 percent of programmatic team time is spent on value-creating activities, causing publishers to miss out on significant revenues.

The study also closely analyzed the operations of those publishers that consistently outperform their peers in terms of value creation and efficiency, and arrived at best practices and approaches other publishers can follow to achieve similar success. Using simpler ad tech stack configurations, best in class publishers were on average 30% more efficient, had up to 24% higher CPMs, and delivered 10% more impressions otherwise lost to discrepancies.

Head over to DoubleClick.com to read the full study.

Posted by Yamini Gupta
Product Marketing, DoubleClick

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At the DoubleClick Leadership Summit, we discussed the implications for brands, broadcasters and publishers of the shift from Primetime to All-the-time.

As part of our presentation, we focussed on four ways for brands to break through the noise and cut through the cross-screen complexity to drive more effective video advertising:
  • Be on the best screen for the moment
  • Connect and engage with every interaction
  • Buy smarter across every screen
  • Focus on impact not views

Read the article on the new DoubleClick.com to learn what each of these mean for advertisers, broadcasters and publishers?
Posted by Rany Ng
Director of Product Management, Video & TV Advertising, Google
Anish Kattukaran
Product Marketing, Video Platforms & Brand Measurement, Google