Author Archives: Marvin Renaud

A new way to control and optimize frequency on YouTube

Achieving the right video ad frequency for both viewers and advertisers has always been a juggling act.

That challenge has only increased as linear TV viewership in the US has dropped from 100 million households in 2014 to a forecast of just 44 million by 2025. As reach declines, the number of times the audience sees an ad on TV is increasing. Seeing the same ad repeatedly can be a frustrating experience for viewers and proves wasteful for advertisers. On average, TV advertisers’ return on investment (ROI) decreased by 41% when frequency exceeded 6+ weekly impressions — which represents 46% of TV impressions served, according to a MMM meta analysis commissioned with Nielsen[539a59].

Almost half of the linear TV impressions in our study were considered waste but the same study from Nielsen shows that brands can increase their average weekly frequency from one to three on YouTube with a consistent ROI[78a842]. This is a huge opportunity for marketers to maximize their impact across the same set of people they are already reaching today.

At YouTube, we are helping advertisers deliver a better advertising experience for viewers without any compromise in ROI. Based on this commitment, earlier this year we announced our frequency management solution on Display and Video 360 that allows marketers to manage the number of times people see their ads across YouTube and third-party networks. We’re now taking that a step further to revolutionize reach and frequency-buying on YouTube.

To help marketers harness this impact, we’re announcing the launch of Target frequency globally for YouTube campaigns. This will help advertisers optimize towards more precise reach and frequency, while ensuring that we continue to provide a suitable advertising experience for viewers. Target frequency allows advertisers to select a frequency goal of up to four per week and our systems will optimize towards maximum unique reach at that desired frequency.

We recently partnered with Triscuit to see how the brand can drive incremental impact to its reach campaigns with a frequency target. Triscuit's goal was to ensure that the brand stays top-of-mind with the consumer. The brand set up a Video experiment to determine the incremental ad recall that a weekly frequency of two could deliver. The Target frequency campaign achieved a 93% higher absolute ad recall lift compared to the non-frequency optimized campaign, at a 40% cheaper cost per lifted user.

We're committed to improving the advertising experience for brands and viewers

Now advertisers can select the frequency target and our systems will optimize towards maximum unique reach at the frequency goal. With our built-in capping, campaigns deliver within a tight distribution range so viewers don’t see the ads too many times. In fact, over 95% of Target frequency campaigns on YouTube successfully achieved their frequency goals when set up following recommended best practices.[162fd8]Not only do the campaigns deliver on their target frequency, but they drive brand impact as well.

To start using a frequency optimized campaign, create a new video reach campaign with the Target frequency goal and select the desired weekly frequency.

Control your ad frequency on connected TV

I love everything about the Big Game — the suspense, the halftime performances and, of course, the commercials. Watching the much-anticipated ads on my living room’s connected TV (CTV), with buffalo wings in hand, has become a family tradition. But as much as I like the ads, seeing them over and over again after the game can ruin the fun.

At Google, we’re helping advertisers deliver a better CTV viewing experience. As part of that, we’re launching new CTV frequency management solutions in Display & Video 360 that allow marketers to control the number of times people see their ads across YouTube and other CTV apps. This gives CTV streamers a smoother viewing experience and limits the risk of brand backlash because of ad overexposure.

Early results show that this new functionality also significantly improves media performance for advertisers. On average, brands see a 5% reach per dollar increase when managing CTV ad frequency across YouTube and other CTV apps rather than separately.[561496]In other words, if your Big Game campaign is scheduled to reach five million CTV viewers, you can now reach a few football stadiums worth of new streamers at no extra cost.

Better viewer experience and use of your CTV media dollars

With Display & Video 360, you can already control how many ads CTV viewers see across YouTube and YouTube TV apps. Separately, you can also set a frequency goal for ads running across other CTV apps. Now, for the first time, you can manage CTV ad frequency across both.

Let’s say you set a frequency goal of five ads per week for your CTV campaign. Instead of showing up to five CTV ads on YouTube and five ads on other CTV apps, Display & Video 360 will now aim to show your ad no more than five times total. Viewers won’t see your ad more than they should as they navigate across YouTube, Hulu or any of their other favorite CTV apps. This more user-centric approach lowers your risk of triggering ad fatigue.

It can also help you get more bang for your buck. By more evenly distributing CTV ad budgets across viewers, you can get more reach for the same budget. But don’t just take our word for it — to determine the reach benefit of this new feature on your next CTV campaign, you can run a Unique Reach report or use the cross-channel frequency quantification tools in Display & Video 360.

Display & Video 360’s cross-channel CTV frequency management solution works for all formats, exchanges, CTV devices and deal types. This includes content on the YouTube and YouTube TV apps watched on CTV devices. For example, you can set a single ad frequency goal across an ESPN Programmatic Guaranteed deal and your YouTube sports campaign.

Cross-channel management that puts
privacy first

To determine the number of times a CTV ad is shown, Display & Video 360 uses Google data on YouTube and the IAB standard Identifier for Advertising on other CTV inventory.

To identify overlaps of people who watch both YouTube CTV and shows on other CTV apps, we use Google’s Unique Reach model. This method — which uses a combination of data sources like census data, panels and surveys — is based on over a decade of understanding deduplication across devices and environments, and is designed to work in a post-cookie world. Once we’ve modeled that duplication of viewers across YouTube and other CTV apps, we can determine the appropriate budget placement to control average ad frequency.

To start using this new feature, just combine YouTube CTV and other CTV strategies under the same campaign or insertion order, and set your frequency goal at that level.