Category Archives: AdWords Agency Blog

Tips and tools for agencies

Expanded safeguards for advertisers

By Philipp Schindler, Chief Business Officer, Google

The web has opened a door for new communities and platforms that help people find diverse views and have a voice. Today, anyone with a smartphone can be a content creator, app developer or entrepreneur. And Google has enabled millions of content creators and publishers to be heard, find an audience, earn a living, or even build a business. Much of this is made possible through advertising. Thousands of sites are added every day to our ad network, and more than 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. We have a responsibility to protect this vibrant, creative world—from emerging creators to established publishers—even when we don’t always agree with the views being expressed.

But we also have a responsibility to our advertisers who help these publishers and creators thrive. We have strict policies that define where Google ads should appear, and in the vast majority of cases, our policies and tools work as intended. But at times we don’t get it right.

Recently, we had a number of cases where brands’ ads appeared on content that was not aligned with their values. For this, we deeply apologize. We know that this is unacceptable to the advertisers and agencies who put their trust in us. That’s why we've been conducting an extensive review of our advertising policies and tools, and why we made a public commitment last week to put in place changes that would give brands more control over where their ads appear.

I wanted to share that we've already begun ramping up changes around three areas: our ad policies, our enforcement of these policies and new controls for advertisers.


Raising the bar for our ad policies



We know advertisers don't want their ads next to content that doesn’t align with their values. So starting today, we’re taking a tougher stance on hateful, offensive and derogatory content. This includes removing ads more effectively from content that is attacking or harassing people based on their race, religion, gender or similar categories. This change will enable us to take action, where appropriate, on a larger set of ads and sites.

We’ll also tighten safeguards to ensure that ads show up only against legitimate creators in our YouTube Partner Program—as opposed to those who impersonate other channels or violate our community guidelines. Finally, we won’t stop at taking down ads. The YouTube team is taking a hard look at our existing community guidelines to determine what content is allowed on the platform—not just what content can be monetized.


Increased brand safety levels and controls for advertisers


Every company has brand guidelines that inform where and when they want their ads to appear. We already offer some controls for advertisers that respond to these needs. In the coming days and months, we’re introducing new tools for advertisers to more easily and consistently manage where their ads appear across YouTube and the web.

  • Safer default for brands. We’re changing the default settings for ads so that they show on content that meets a higher level of brand safety and excludes potentially objectionable content that advertisers may prefer not to advertise against. Brands can opt in to advertise on broader types of content if they choose.
  • Simplified management of exclusions. We’ll introduce new account-level controls to make it easier for advertisers to exclude specific sites and channels from all of their AdWords for Video and Google Display Network campaigns, and manage brand safety settings across all their campaigns with a push of a button.
  • More fine-tuned controls. In addition, we’ll introduce new controls to make it easier for brands to exclude higher risk content and fine-tune where they want their ads to appear.



Increasing resources, accelerating reviews and improving transparency


We’ll offer advertisers and agencies more transparency and visibility on where their ads are running, and in the coming months we’ll expand availability of video-level reporting to all advertisers.

We'll be hiring significant numbers of people and developing new tools powered by our latest advancements in AI and machine learning to increase our capacity to review questionable content for advertising. In cases where advertisers find their ads were served where they shouldn’t have been, we plan to offer a new escalation path to make it easier for them to raise issues. In addition, we’ll soon be able to resolve these cases in less than a few hours.

We believe the combination of these new policies and controls will significantly strengthen our ability to help advertisers reach audiences at scale, while respecting their values. We will continue to act swiftly to put these new policies and processes in place across our ad network and YouTube. But we also intend to act carefully, preserving the value we currently provide to advertisers, publishers and creators of all sizes. In the end, there’s nothing more important to Google than the trust we’ve built amongst our users, advertisers, creators and publishers. Brand safety is an ongoing commitment for us, and we’ll continue to listen to your feedback.

Join us live on May 23, 2017 as we announce the latest Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick innovations

What: Google Marketing Next keynote live stream
When: Tuesday, May 23 at 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET.
Duration: 1 hour
Where: Here on the Inside Adwords Blog

Be the first to hear about Google’s latest marketing innovations, the moment they’re announced. Watch live as my team and I share new Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick innovations designed to improve your ability to reach consumers, simplify campaign measurement and increase your productivity. We’ll also give you a sneak peek at how brands are starting to use the Google Assistant to delight customers.

Register for the live stream here.

Until then, follow us on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn for previews of what’s to come.

Introducing OREO Space Dunk

The OREO Dunk Challenge is currently running as a global digital, print, and TV campaign promoting the iconic cookie’s long-standing relationship with a cool glass of milk.
To connect with more fans, and bring this worldwide celebration of dunking right to the palms of their hands, OREO invited its agencies and The ZOO at Google to push the creative campaign – and its signature ritual - further with mobile.


The ZOO is Google’s creative think tank that helps brands and agencies unlock the creative potential of Google technology and data.
Over the past few months, 360i, Carat and The ZOO developed “OREO Space Dunk,” a web-based application that leverages Google Maps to let cookie-lovers virtually launch OREO cookies into space as an innovative way to dunk within the OREO Dunk Challenge.  The result is a customized, personalized dunking experience.
Using their smartphones, fans scan an original OREO cookie, unlocking a mobile site that recognizes and transforms the real cookie into a digital version.


Users then swing their phone to send the virtual cookie into the stratosphere, starting from the user’s location in Google Earth before  descending and “dunking” into a glass of milk placed in a location across the world via Google Street View.
Built by the award-winning production company Jam3, “OREO Space Dunk” launches February 21 in the U.S. and will roll out internationally over the course of the campaign.
“Our deep collaboration with OREO and their agencies represents a solid model for the future of brand advertising in the digital space," said Michael Yapp, director of The ZOO at Google. "We're thrilled to see our products integrated into OREO's campaign in a fun, creative way and look forward to seeing the journey each OREO takes."
“While we know nothing beats dunking a real OREO cookie in milk, it’s exciting to see variations of the ritual, including one that takes it into the digital space,” said Kerri McCarthy, Senior Global Brand Manager, OREO. “The innovation behind the ‘OREO Space Dunk’ is the result of true collaboration and it’s a great way to further diversify the array of OREO dunks that make up the OREO Dunk Challenge.”






Building trust and increasing transparency with MRC-accredited measurement

Measurement has been top of mind in our recent conversations with advertisers, and for good reason. As we’ve said many times, “If you can’t measure it, how do you know it worked?” Committing to measurement is critical, but just the first step. We believe that that the industry needs metrics that are trusted, transparent and easily verified. Today, we’re pleased to share several updates on the work we’re doing with third party verification and audit partners to ensure that the metrics available from Google are objective and accurate.
Transparency and trust are the core principles of our measurement strategy. We strongly believe in the need for third-party accreditation through the Media Rating Council (MRC). We gained our first accreditations back in 2006, and for over ten years we’ve partnered with the MRC, advocating for standards across the industry and contributing to ongoing discussions that set guidelines for measuring the effectiveness of ads. We currently maintain over 30 MRC accreditations across display and video, desktop and mobile web, mobile apps, and clicks, plays, impressions and viewability.

MRC accreditation for 3rd party viewability reporting on YouTube

Since 2015, we've completed integrations with Moat, Integral Ad Science and DoubleVerify to enable third-party viewability reporting on YouTube. These integrations offer advertisers additional choice for measuring viewability on YouTube, alongside Active View.
Today, we’re announcing that each of these integrations will undergo a stringent, independent audit for MRC accreditation. The audit will validate that data collection, aggregation and reporting for served video impressions, viewable impressions, related viewability statistics and General Invalid Traffic (GIVT) across desktop and mobile for each integration adheres to MRC and IAB standards. In short, advertisers will have even greater confidence in the metrics returned by these third party partners about their campaigns on YouTube.
“Google’s announcement that they are undertaking an independent audit of their 3rd party viewability reporting integrations is a positive step forward for marketers. At the ANA, our goal is to create transparency for the advertising supply chain. This action from Google today demonstrates their commitment to partnering with us to deliver this goal."
—Bob Liodice, President and CEO, Association for National Advertisers

New MRC accreditations for DoubleClick and AdWords

Our commitment to MRC accreditation goes beyond our media to include our platform solutions as well. We maintain several accreditations for DoubleClick already, and today we’re announcing that we are now fully accredited for video impressions and viewability statistics for desktop web, mobile web and mobile app in DoubleClick Campaign Manager.
We are also seeking MRC accreditation for video impressions and viewability statistics and GIVT detection for display and video in both AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager. These MRC audits will span across all video available through these buying platforms — including YouTube and partner inventory.
"Google's commitment to MRC's initiatives has been unwavering over time, and their participation in industry standards projects has been helpful. We look forward to working on these new audits and expanding the industry's trust as it relates to YouTube's third party integrations and DoubleClick Bid Manager."
—George Ivie, CEO and Executive Director, Media Rating Council
“Google’s announcement to bring more media transparency is important progress that will help move the industry forward. At P&G, we are encouraged by Google’s actions, which should make a positive impact on creating a clean and productive media supply chain.”
—Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble

With so much activity underway, we know that it can be difficult to stay current. For an up to date list of all MRC accreditations, click here.
Transparency and trust are fundamental to measurement, and they’re fundamental to our strategy for giving marketers and publishers the metrics and insights they need to make better decisions. A solid foundation has been created, but there is much more work to do. In 2017, we’ll continue to seek ways to raise the bar on transparent and trustworthy measurement, and we welcome your partnership along the way.

Mobile Live Streaming: Now rolling-out to more channels

YouTube is constantly working to develop new ways for brands, creators, and audiences to interact and connect with each other through video. It’s why we’ve supported live streaming since before Beyoncé even had a baby – way back in 2011. And just last year, we witnessed the most-viewed political live streams of all time – the 2016 U.S. presidential debates – and we launched the world’s first 360-degree live streaming support with full 4k video, at scale and for free.


So what’s next? The roll out of our new mobile live streaming feature to channels with more than ten thousand subscribers (and coming to more soon). It’s a launch that’ll put the power of live streaming in the hands of your brand and hundreds of thousands of YouTube creators, giving you a more intimate and spontaneous way to connect with your audience on your channel in real-time.


CameoFlow.gif


Mobile live streaming has been built directly into the YouTube mobile app. All you have to do to start streaming is open YouTube, hit the capture button, and your brand is live! Streamed videos will have all the same features as regular YouTube videos. They can be searched for, found via recommendations or playlists, and protected from unauthorized use. Our mobile live streaming uses YouTube’s rock-solid infrastructure, meaning it’ll be fast and reliable, just the YouTube you know and love.


We can’t wait to see what you stream.


Kurt Wilms, YouTube Product Manager, recently watched "Bored at Target"


A modified version of this post announcing mobile live streaming and Super Chat appeared on the Official YouTube blog.

#TheYouTubeAd of 2016 – The Results Are In

In partnership with The Webby Awards, we invited marketers and fans alike to vote for their favorite YouTube ads from nominees across six categories -- and the results are in.

We’re pleased to share the results of the #TheYouTubeAd of 2016 contest:

Category: #TheYouTubeAd That Goes Straight To The Heart
Winner: Budweiser | Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series Champions | Harry Caray’s Last Call | Fly The W (VaynerMedia, MediaCom) -

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Category: #TheYouTubeAd That’s Your Guilty Pleasure 
Winner: Dear Kitten: Beginnings // Presented by Buzzfeed & Friskies (Buzzfeed)

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Category: #TheYouTubeAd That Puts Stars In Your Eyes 
Winner: Best Fiends - WARNING: Don’t Download Best Fiends (Best Fiends In House)

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Category: #TheYouTubeAd That Knows No Limits
Winner: #Pokemon20: Pokémon Super Bowl Commercial (Omelet, MediaCom)

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Category: #TheYouTubeAd That Takes A Stand 
Winner: The Unseen | It Can Wait | AT&T (BBDO, Hearts & Science)

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Category: #TheYouTubeAd That Says It In Six
Winner: Old Spice | Sweat | #smellegendary (Wieden+Kennedy)


Thank you for voting and congratulations to the winners!

Celebrate and Vote for #TheYouTubeAd of 2016

The best YouTube ads of 2016 explored a stunning range of creativity across the board.  Viewers have been inspired, caught off guard, and moved to tears with these unbelievable ads from these top creative agencies this year. We even have a new category dedicated to brands that build for the new 6-second bumper format.

Once again, we’ve partnered with The Webby Awards to select 30 nominees based on this year’s YouTube Ads Leaderboard for the most iconic ads of 2016 -- and now you get to cast your ballot for your favorites.

We’ve selected six categories to highlight how some of the best of ads of 2016 have inspired us on a whole new level. Starting today, you can vote for:

#TheYouTubeAd That Goes Straight To The Heart
#TheYouTubeAd That's Your Guilty Pleasure
#TheYouTubeAd That Puts Stars In Your Eyes
#TheYouTubeAd That Knows No Limits
#TheYouTubeAd That Takes A Stand
#TheYouTubeAd That Says It In Six

Voting runs through December 9th - and you can help your favorites reach the top by voting for each category everyday.

Winners will be announced on December 14th.



YouTube VR: A whole new way to watch… and create

We’re inspired every day by the videos people share on YouTube. The idea that anybody, from any part of the globe, can create something that all of us can watch, laugh at, cry to, or relate to. Not only has this turned YouTube into a home for just about any idea imaginable, it’s made it the place where new video formats, new ways to connect, and new ways to tell stories are born.

We want to continue to provide you with new ways to engage with the world and with your community, and we believe virtual reality will play an important role in the future of storytelling. More than just an amazing new technology, VR allows us to make deep, human connections with people, places and stories. That’s why we’re committed to giving creators the space and resources they need to learn about, experiment with, and create virtual reality video. In fact, we’ve already started working with some awesome creators, recording artists, and partners who are producing VR videos across a wide variety of genres and interest areas on YouTube.

Want to spend some time with beauty vlogger Meredith Foster? Check out an immersive tour of her apartment. More of a foodie? Tastemade’s VR cooking videos breathe new life into learning new recipes. Rooster Teeth reimagines their gaming comedy “Red vs. Blue” for some fresh laughs. You can even watch breaking news in VR from HuffPost RYOT.

We’ve also been working to allow you to have experiences or visit places you might not be able to (or might not dare to!) in real life. Go swimming with sharks thanks to Curiscope, get a first-hand look at a living, breathing dinosaur at the Natural History Museum in London, travel to Belize with StyleHaul, hike a trail a thousand miles away with Daniel and Kelly at Fitness Blender, or watch Tritonal in concert no matter where you are.


And today you can experience all of this amazing content in a more immersive way with the brand new YouTube VR app, available first on Daydream. This new standalone app was built from the ground up and optimized for VR. You just need a Daydream-ready phone like Pixel and the new Daydream View headset and controller to get started. Every single video on the platform becomes an immersive VR experience, from 360-degree videos that let you step inside the content to standard videos shown on a virtual movie screen in the new theater mode. The app even includes some familiar features like voice search and a signed in experience so you can follow the channels you subscribe to, check out your playlists and more.

YTVR-Watch-Spherical-Player.jpg

We can’t tell you how inspired we all are after watching the amazing VR videos made by creators on YouTube. We can't wait to see what you dream up next!

Posted by Erin Teague, Product Manager, and Jamie Byrne, Director of YouTube Creators, recently watched Tour of Man At Arms: Reforged Shop in 360° - The Forging Room!

This post originally appeared on the YouTube blog.


Creativity in Constraint: Two U.S. Creative Teams Emerge Victorious From YouTube’s Global Creative Hack

When two creative teams from the U.S. arrived in Singapore last month, they knew they’d be facing stiff competition and absurd deadlines. The teams from Deutsch and Grey had just flown halfway across the world to take part in the inaugural YouTube Creative Hack competition as part of Spikes Asia.

Spikes Asia is a yearly event comparable to Cannes Lions that brings together 2,000+ industry leaders from 26 countries to celebrate creative excellence across the Asia Pacific region. This year, the conference focused on YouTube, celebrating the most creative and innovative campaigns on the platform.

Creativity was on display throughout the conference’s keynotes and award presentations—never more so than during the YouTube Creative Hack competition sponsored by YouTube and Young Spikes. Fourteen teams of young creatives came together from across Southeast Asia, Japan, India, and the U.S. for some friendly competition.

The structure was simple: Teams of two had to concept, write, and produce a mini ad campaign in just seven hours. They would create three ads to fit YouTube’s new six-second bumper ad format, all using existing long-form video assets from a brand whose name, objectives, and target audiences were kept secret until the competition briefing session.

Right before the clock started, the client was revealed: the Singapore Tourism Board. In just seven hours, all 14 teams, including the jetlagged U.S. duos, had to present their ads to a panel of expert judges who would determine the winners.

Neither of the teams from the U.S. had ever been to Asia, and now they had to create ads convincing people to come visit Singapore.

The team from Deutsch based their ads on the insight that millennials like to show off to their friends when they’re having a great time. “We started concepting around this feeling of travel envy—that jealousy you feel when looking at pictures and videos from your friends’ awesome vacations. We all hate those friends. That shared hatred/jealousy led us to the line, ‘Singapore. You can be mad, or you can be here,’” shared Andrew Kong, copywriter at Deutsch. Kong and his partner, Curtis Petraglia, art director were able to turn this simple insight into a fun and polished six-second ad, which showcased fun things to do in Singapore while getting the message across quickly.


Alternatively, Grey used the fact that this was their first time in Asia to land on a simple insight: Singapore is very similar to some of the world’s other big cities like New York, London, and Los Angeles, but with particular advantages. “The creative hack was a fun challenge that forced us to trust our guts and whittle down the ads to the core insight," said Will Gardner, art director at Grey. Their scrappy campaign portrayed that simple message through clever supers and playful iconography. The six-second ads were designed to target users by home country.


The results? The teams snagged first and second place, making the Creative Hack a huge success for the U.S. teams. Despite the challenges a new country and new ad format presented, the team from Deutsch won the jury over, taking top honors unanimously. The Grey campaign also impressed the judges, with its relatable and dexterous execution, earning the team the second place honors. "Initially, we had no idea what to expect from bumpers and this opportunity showed us the possibilities of being creative within constraints. We're excited to expand on the experience and take what we learned back to our teams,” said Robert Jencks, designer and junior art director at Grey.

Leaning into the creative constraints of the six-second bumper ad format helped the U.S. teams transcend language barriers and local nuances. Having just six seconds to play with meant the teams had to focus their creativity and create pithy ads rooted in simple human truths. Regardless of platform, audience, country, brand, or time limit, that’s the kind of creativity that will always win.

Posted by Noël Paasch, Agency Marketing Manager, YouTube

Academy for Ads: On-The-Go Training for Google’s Ad Products

Becoming a digital advertising expert takes time, and it’s important to get off to a good start. Only 50 percent of marketers say they’re confident in their knowledge of digital advertising,1 despite the wide range of educational materials available – sometimes “more” isn’t the same as “better.” You’ve told us that you want quick, bite-sized training in more interactive formats. And we heard you.

We’re pleased to announce Academy for Ads, a new digital training platform designed to help you learn how to use Google’s ad products in a mobile-first world. We built Academy for Ads to promote learning on-the-go, whether you’re on a laptop, a desktop, or a mobile device.

Grow your Google product know-how
Guided by input from our team of product experts, Academy for Ads courses cover the topics that matter most to Google advertisers – from AdWords basics and the essentials of campaign management to bid strategies, reporting, optimization, and more ways to successfully advertise with Google.



Learning paths, Assessments, and Achievements
We’ve organized the courses into “Learning paths” that you can walk through at your own pace. At the end of each path, take an Assessment and earn an Achievement to show that you know your stuff. Earning an Achievement for AdWords helps prepare you to take the AdWords Certification exam in Google Partners, or try deeper education offerings such as AdWords Academy.


A few example Learning paths:
  • Digital concepts: Learn the essentials of online ads, including third-party ad-serving, programmatic buying, remarketing, and more.
  • Get started with AdWords: Learn the basics of AdWords and prepare for the AdWords Certification exam offered by Google Partners.
  • Get started with AdWords Display: Learn how you can show ads to your online audience via the Google Display Network.
  • Get started with DoubleClick Bid Manager*: Learn your way around Bid Manager, what it offers and how you can use it to manage your online marketing campaigns.
*Only accessible to DoubleClick Bid Manager clients

Academy for Ads also offers training for DoubleClick clients, with Learning paths covering Bid Manager and Ad Exchange – and more to come.

Get started
If you already use Google Partners, you can sign in through the Partners portal at g.co/learnwithpartners — or, you can go directly to g.co/AcademyforAds to sign up and start sampling courses and Learning paths. We’re constantly adding more content, so if you like what you learn, keep coming back for more.



1. 6 Fundamentals to Managing Digital Marketing in 2015, TFM Insights (January 2015)