Author Archives: Nicole Burgan

At SXSW, creative agencies partner with Ad Council and YouTube to spark stories for a cause

What do Ozzy Osbourne and Prince Charles have in common? A lot, if you're looking at demographics alone; they're both male, born in the same year, and from England. Yet, as has been pointed out many times before, identifiers like age and gender don't give the full picture. 

For SXSW, we've partnered with 6 world-class creative agencies to explore how audience signals - beyond demographic data - can enable a spark for better, more relevant storytelling. 

Partnering with Ad Council on three causes - empowering girls in STEM, preparing for disasters, and ending hunger - we challenged each agency to each develop two different creatives that would resonate with the intended audience they wanted to engage, from sports fans to technophiles

The 12 campaigns, showcasing how customized creative can ignite conversations and action around important causes, will debut at SXSW on March 9th. 

Check out the full playlist to or dive in more to the story behind the work below. 

To Empower Girls in STEM 

Research shows that young girls are interested in STEM subjects but get discouraged from pursuing them by outdated stereotypes(1). AMP Agency and Hecho Studios took on the challenge to create ads that would speak to key audiences for She Can STEM and encourage them to empower young women in their lives in STEM.

AMP Agency 

While it's often difficult to know what leads a girl down the path to success, AMP Agency recognized that parents and other role models may play the most important role in guiding their futures. A core message unites the two creatives; you can set a young woman's future in motion by clueing into her interests and nourishing her passion for STEM. 

Watch the ad designed for tech-savvy people

Watch the ad designed for bargain hunters.

Hecho Studios 

To speak to parents of grade schoolers as well as avid readers, Hecho Studios developed an eye-catching showcase of women who have pioneered STEM fields. 

Watch the ad designed for parents of grade schoolers

Watch the ad designed for avid readers

To Drive Disaster Preparedness 

While the thought of preparing for a natural disaster can be overwhelming, developing an emergency plan can save lives. We Are Unlimited and Energy BBDO partnered with Ad Council to inspire more people to develop household disaster plans. 

Energy BBDO 

Recognizing that pet-lovers tend to watch humourous videos skiwing toward dog content, Energy BBDO created a funny spot featuring a conversation between a dog and owner. For DIYers, Energy BBDO developed high-action creative after seeing how this audience over indexed on action packed videos. 

Watch the ad designed for pet lovers

Watch the ad designed for DIYers who enjoy building things on their own.

We Are Unlimited 

Building different executions from a core campaign idea, We Are Unlimited created two day-in-the-life scenarios to show how an average day for stock-market savvy people versus travel buffs could go awry when disaster strikes. 

Watch the ad designed for stock-savvy investors

Watch the ad designed for travel buffs.

To Combat Hunger 

Hunger affects one in eight Americans(2), yet many are unaware of the prevalence. For this cause, BBDO and Grey created ads for four key audiences to drive donations to Feeding America. 


Creating one central concept that depicts the reality of impoverished meals, BBDO tailored the tone and details of the creative executions to speak to each audience. 

Watch the ad designed for gamers.

Watch the ad created for outdoor enthusiasts.


Grey's overarching creative concept spoke to how hunger can hide in plain sight. Each creative execution featured a unique call-to-action to inspire action from that audience. 

Watch the ad designed for sports fans.

Watch the ad designed for green living enthusiasts.


(1)  Source:
(2) Citation: Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory, and Anita Singh. 2018. Household Food Security in the United States in 2017, ERR-256, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service

Tasty: A Recipe for Success on the Google Home Hub

Posted by Julia Chen Davidson, Head of Partner Marketing, Google Home

We recently launched the Google Home Hub, the first ever Made by Google smart speaker with a screen, and we knew that a lot of you would want to put these helpful devices in the kitchen—perhaps the most productive room in the house. With the Google Assistant built-in to the Home Hub, you can use your voice—or your hands—to multitask during meal time. You can manage your shopping list, map out your family calendar, create reminders for the week, and even help your kids out with their homework.

To make the Google Assistant on the Home Hub even more helpful in the kitchen, we partnered with BuzzFeed's Tasty, the largest social food network in the world, to bring 2,000 of their step-by-step tutorials to the Assistant, adding to the tens of thousands of recipes already available. With Tasty on the Home Hub, you can search for recipes based on the ingredients you have in the pantry, your dietary restrictions, cuisine preferences and more. And once you find the right recipe, Tasty will walk you through each recipe with instructional videos and step-by-step guidance.

Tasty's Action shows off how brands can combine voice with visuals to create next-generation experiences for our smart homes. We asked Sami Simon, Product Manager for BuzzFeed Media Brands, a few questions about building for the Google Assistant and we hope you'll find some inspiration for how you can combine voice and touch for the new category of devices in our homes.

What additive value do you see for your users by building an Action for the Google Assistant that's different from an app or YouTube video series, for example?

We all know that feeling when you have your hands in a bowl of ground meat and you realize you have to tap the app to go to the next step or unpause the YouTube video you were watching (I can attest to random food smudges all over my phone and computer for this very reason!).

With our Action, people can use the Google Assistant to get a helping hand while cooking, navigating a Tasty recipe just by using their voice. Without having to break the flow of rolling out dough or chopping an onion, we can now guide people on what to expect next in their cooking process. What's more, with the Google Home Hub, which has the added bonus of a display screen, home chefs can also quickly glance at the video instructions for extra guidance.

The Google Home Hub gives users all of Google, in their home, at a glance. What advantages do you see for Tasty in being a part of voice-enabled devices in the home?

The Assistant on the Google Home Hub enhances the Tasty experience in the kitchen, making it easier than ever for home chefs to cook Tasty recipes, either by utilizing voice commands or the screen display. Tasty is already the centerpiece of the kitchen, and with the Google Home Hub integration, we have the opportunity to provide additional value to our audience. For instance, we've introduced features like Clean Out My Fridge where users share their available ingredients and Tasty recommends what to cook. We're so excited that we can seamlessly provide inspiration and coaching to all home chefs and make cooking even more accessible.

How do you think these new devices will shape the future of digital assistance? How did you think through when to use voice and visual components in your Action?

In our day-to-day lives, we don't necessarily think critically about the best way to receive information in a given instance, but this project challenged us to create the optimal cooking experience. Ultimately we designed the Action to be voice-first to harness the power of the Assistant.

We then layered in the supplemental visuals to make the cooking experience even easier and make searching our recipe catalogue more fun. For instance, if you're busy stir frying, all the pertinent information would be read aloud to you, and if you wanted to quickly check what this might look like, we also provide the visual as additional guidance.

Can you elaborate on 1-3 key findings that your team discovered while testing the Action for the Home Hub?

Tasty's lens on cooking is to provide a fun and accessible experience in the kitchen, which we wanted to have come across with the Action. We developed a personality profile for Tasty with the mission of connecting with chefs of all levels, which served as a guide for making decisions about the Action. For instance, once we defined the voice of Tasty, we knew how to keep the dialogue conversational in order to better resonate with our audience.

Additionally, while most people have had some experience with digital assistants, their knowledge of how assistants work and ways that they use them vary wildly from person to person. When we did user testing, we realized that unlike designing UX for a website, there weren't as many common design patterns we could rely on. Keeping this in mind helped us to continuously ensure that our user paths were as clear as possible and that we always provided users support if they got lost or confused.

What are you most excited about for the future of digital assistance and branded experiences there? Where do you foresee this ecosystem going?

I'm really excited for people to discover more use cases we haven't even dreamed of yet. We've thoroughly explored practical applications of the Assistant, so I'm eager to see how we can develop more creative Actions and evolve how we think about digital assistants. As the Assistant will only get smarter and better at predicting people's behavior, I'm looking forward to seeing the growth of helpful and innovative Actions, and applying those to Tasty's mission to make cooking even more accessible.

What's next for Tasty and your Action? What additional opportunities do you foresee for your brand in digital assistance or conversational interfaces?

We are proud of how our Action leverages the Google Assistant to enhance the cooking experience for our audience, and excited for how we can evolve the feature set in the future. The Tasty brand has evolved its videos beyond our popular top-down recipe format. It would be an awesome opportunity to expand our Action to incorporate the full breadth of the Tasty brand, such as our creative long-form programming or extended cooking tutorials, so we can continue helping people feel more comfortable in the kitchen.

To check out Tasty's Action yourself, just say "Hey Google, ask Tasty what I should make for dinner" on your Home Hub or Smart Display. And to learn more about the solutions we have for businesses, take a look at our Assistant Business site to get started building for the Google Assistant.

If you don't have the resources to build in-house, you can also work with our talented partners that have already built Actions for all types of use cases. To make it even easier to find the perfect partner, we recently launched a new website that shows these agencies on a map with more details about how to get in touch. And if you're an agency already building Actions, we'd love to hear from you. Just reach out here and we'll see if we can offer some help along the way!

Get creative at Cannes and assist your customers in new ways

By: Kevin Prior, Product Marketing Manager, Actions on Google

Every year, the leading agencies and brands meet in the south of France at the Cannes Lions Festival to celebrate and learn about cutting-edge technologies and creative work. The festival inspires the next wave of innovation that can break through and reach increasingly discerning consumers. The Google Assistant team is showcasing new ways to interact with your customers: by assisting them to get things done.

We’ve seen people’s expectations change driven by an even more curious, demanding, and impatient consumer,  and to rise to these expectations we need to not just help consumers find the information they want, but also help them do more with it. This is where the Google Assistant comes in.

To show how your brand can—or how you can help brands—reach new customers in assistive ways, we’re on the beach at Cannes with a set of creative Actions our partners built for the Assistant, to help their customers get things done in new devices and contexts. We hosted a panel on the subject earlier this week – check it out here.

In our beach huts, you’ll see how Actions can help a customer plan a trip with Lonely Planet, or help customers complete a step-by-step recipe with Tasty--all powered by voice and visuals, in assistive context with the Google Assistant. Apply a little sunscreen and drop by to try them yourself, or see our full schedule at Cannes to meet the rest of the Google team.

We’ve been fortunate enough to also work with leading agencies that have already built for the Google Assistant as some of the early adopters to experiment with our platform. Rehab, for example, built Safari Mixer, a playful game where people can invent a brand new animal by combining the head, body, and legs of various animals.

We caught up with a few agency partners to share some of their thoughts on building assistive experiences for voice:

Should brands be investing in voice-enabled devices already? Why?
“This type of experience will provide far richer data about their customer needs and preferences because the strong intent and behaviours that voice assistants support. This will help brands: respond faster, develop better products, improve marketing, responsive pricing and even savings in supply chain.” -- Rob Bennett, CEO, rehab

“Absolutely. Voice is here to stay and it's a great fit for many use cases. By being early adopters, brands have the opportunity to cement customer behaviors NOW, before there are many more competing Actions. Once customers establish their behaviors, they're really hard to break later on, which is great for brands that act now.” -- Tony Chen, Co-Founder & COO, Conversable

How should brands think about their presence in an Assistant ecosystem in relation to the rest of their digital presence?
“If a brand were a person, what does it look like, and what does he or she say? The Assistant connects a voice to a brand, and with that creates a promise of human behaviour. This is a golden opportunity to create a layer of digital interactivity that will reflect the values the brand stands for.” -- Sander van der Vegte, Head of MediaMonk Labs, MediaMonks

 “Think conversationally. If a consumer were sitting next to you on a park bench, what conversation could you have with them that they would leave thinking they really enjoyed that discussion, that person, and they can't wait to see them again.” -- Brandon Kaplan, CEO, Skilled Creative

Can voice and conversation enable new use cases for brands and their businesses? If so, why?

“Voice conversations unlock many use cases where it's unnecessary or inconvenient to type or tap to complete a task. That might be the case where you're in the kitchen and your hands are dirty, but you can ask for the next step in a recipe as opposed to scrolling on your phone. Or you might be in your car and unable to type.” --  Tony Chen, Co-Founder & COO, Conversable

 “Voice enables new use cases for brands because it is hands-free and on-demand. It allows users to ask for exactly what they want, rather than navigate a screen to find an answer.” -- Patrick Miller, Chief Innovation Officer, Deeplocal

“Absolutely. Think about the context in which you’re engaging with a voice-enabled experience -- it’s typically when a user cannot or does not want to access a screen, like when you’re in a car. Brands have never really had the opportunity to speak to their customers while they’re on their way to the grocery store, or in that moment they realize they need gas, and voice-enabled experiences now make those moments accessible." -- Amanda Felson, Director of Partnerships, Assist

What challenges do brands face in this new age of voice-enabled experiences? How can they navigate them? 

“Don’t push products directly. A voice service or utility should provide users with a benefit. Sometimes that benefit is making it easier to buy or order something but try to think bigger. Brands should be trying to help consumers: solve a problem or achieve an aim.” -- Rob Bennett, CEO, rehab

“Because the ecosystem is still so new, getting started with voice-enabled experiences can seem like a daunting task. We would encourage brands to begin with the low-hanging fruit— the simple questions that they have immediate answers for. From here, they can then moderate the questions that are being asked and develop solutions for those queries.” -- Patrick Miller, Chief Innovation Officer, Deeplocal

What are you most excited about for the future of these voice-enabled devices and experiences? Where do you foresee this ecosystem going?

“We foresee a world where your voice assistant knows your preferences, as do your 3rd party brand assistants in their area. They will be able to make personalised recommendations and can pick up a conversation or interaction you’ve had on another platform from your home speaker, to your car or even in-store.” -- Rob Bennett, CEO, rehab

“We see family gaming as a big opportunity, and also Assistant supported commerce will change consumer behavior - i.e. buying in the car and on-the-go will increase.” -- Adam Marchick, Co-Founder & CEO, Alpine.AI

Knowing full well that brands are interested in how they can get ahead of the curve for this new age of assistance, we also launched a new website that can help you navigate the fundamentals in building for the Google Assistant, supported with case studies from WeMo, Akinator, and SongPop.

And if you’re an agency already building Actions, we’d love to hear from you. Just reach out here and we’ll see if we can offer some help along the way!

Tune in on July 10, 2018 as we announce our latest product innovations

Sign up to join the live streamed keynote at Google Marketing Live:

When: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 at 9 a.m. PT / 12:00 p.m. ET

Duration: 1 hour
It’s that time of year again! Join us as we unveil the latest Ads, Analytics and Platforms innovations at Google Marketing Live. Get a first look at new features and tools that will help you grow your business. Also gain access to the latest insights and trends that are shaping the future of the industry.

Register for the keynote live stream here. We’ll also make a recording available after the live stream for advertisers in other time zones.

Until then, subscribe to Think With Google, and follow us on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn for a sneak peek of what’s coming soon.

Get recognized for your great work at the Premier Partner Awards 2018

Announcing the Premier Partner Awards 2018 — a time to recognize innovation and performance in digital marketing. Winning an award results in more than a trophy. It's a way for Premier Partners to showcase their strengths to current clients and attract new ones.

We’ve listened to your feedback and made some adjustments to this year’s awards. The application process has been streamlined to focus on your great campaign work and the submission window has been extended to better accommodate your schedule.

The judges will review every case study and be looking for innovative uses of technology. Regional events will bring the finalists together and give Premier Partners the chance to meet and celebrate. Winners will be awarded at the regional or country level only.

Join us and apply here for the Premier Partner Awards 2018 in your region.

About the awards
The Premier Partner Awards 2018 honor great work with Innovation Awards in the following areas: Search, Display, Mobile, Shopping and Video.

Additionally, we recognize one partner in each region with the Growing Businesses Online Award. This award goes to a company that helps clients get online, stay online, and grow online with interesting and thoughtful methods.

Important dates
All applications are due online by June 29, 2018.
The finalists for each award will be announced on August 27, 2018.
Winners will be announced at regional events between October and December.

More information
Check out the Premier Partner Awards site to learn more and apply before the June 29 deadline.

Top agencies partner with YouTube to bring UN goals to life in a new campaign

Last year at Cannes, we announced a partnership with Common Ground and the United Nations for The Common Future Project, bringing together talent from the world’s largest agencies and communications groups to mobilize Generation Z around the UN’s Global Goals.

Over the past few months, our team has been working together to build #LittleXLittle, a global campaign launching today on YouTube. We’re working to inspire 2 billion young people to take simple, micro-actions that can collectively save the world.

Because this generation is more than just big, it’s a passionate group of young people who are fired up. They know what they care about and which issues matter to them but they don’t think they have the strength or the numbers to make an impact.

The campaign encourages each member of Gen Z to take one simple, six-second action for the cause of his or her choice. And we can show that those little actions—when multiplied by the largest generation in human history—can make progress on history’s ambitious roadmap to save the world. Why six seconds? We know that even in this short amount of time, you can take one small action, and deliver one powerful message—just like how YouTube encourages brands to deliver messages in six-second ads.

We’re building on the buzz of our anthem spot by calling on global creators, UN influencers, and members of Gen Z to share their tips, ideas, and inspiration and show how we all have the power to change the world in as little as six seconds. The campaign will include a range of ads, including short-form bumpers—perfect for showing how small things can make a big impact.

The teams also partnered with FameBit to enroll a range of influencers and creators who can galvanize and mobilize Gen Z and add their voices to the movement. Creators from the U.S., U.K., and India have already created their own videos encouraging their fans to support their causes Marissa Rachel whose YouTube channel has over 1.5M subscribers, for example, aims to inspire her community to take action against goal #4: Quality Education.

The campaign will be supported by a media grant from YouTube, and will run in U.S., U.K., Nigeria, and India. We’re thrilled to be able to shine a spotlight on the great collaboration of these agencies coming together for the common good.

Feeling inspired? Visit the to get involved. We hope you’ll take a picture, share a video and tag it with #LittleXLittle to show the world how you’re taking action.

The benefits of consolidating media buys on a single platform

Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Advertiser Blog

With DoubleClick’s Programmatic Guaranteed solution, advertisers and media owners can transact both reservation and open auction media buys programmatically, using a single platform. This means advertisers get one view of all their buys across a campaign, allowing them to more effectively control reach and frequency so they get better results. And advertisers and media owners each benefit from a simpler and more efficient workflow.

We worked with Nielsen and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to quantify the benefits of this technology for advertisers, agencies and media owners.

Across 10 global campaigns, we found that the consolidated ad buying approach offered by Programmatic Guaranteed drove an 11% increase in reach efficiency. This means that marketers in the Nielsen study reached 11% more unique consumers -- without increasing their campaign investment -- when using Programmatic Guaranteed compared to a siloed approach where reservation and open auction buys were managed separately.[1]

Buyers and sellers also save significant time when using Programmatic Guaranteed: from insertion order to billing, agency marketers in the BCG study spent 30% less time on set-up and ongoing management of campaigns compared to traditional reservations. Media owners in the BCG study spent 57% less time on set-up and ongoing management of Programmatic Guaranteed campaigns compared to traditional reservations.2

To learn more about the full results make sure to download the full report

Posted by Andrea Vassalli, Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick
[1]Results based on a Google commissioned study conducted by Nielsen. The siloed media buying portion of the test reached on average 322,575 unique consumers for each million impressions compared to the consolidated media portion that reached 359,617 unique consumers.
2 Results based on Google commissioned study conducted by, The Boston Consulting Group, “A Guaranteed Opportunity in Programmatic”. February, 2018.

Academy for Ads- Your New Home for Ads Education

A Google certification shows your clients that you have the skills that can deliver positive results for their business. That’s why we offer professional certifications in AdWords, Analytics, Mobile Site development, Digital Sales, and more - so you can show you have the product knowledge they’re looking for.

Starting today, exams and certifications in Partners will be moving to a new home for growing and perfecting your advertising skills -- Google’s Academy for Ads .

Academy for Ads offers fast, easy-to-use education, with training, assessments, and certifications. It will help you learn advertising concepts in an interactive format and is perfect for agencies that need to develop and demonstrate knowledge of Google ad products like AdWords or DoubleClick.

Sign in to Academy for Ads to see your new account, where you’ll find your existing credentials from Google Partners. And when you’re due to retake any exams, you'll be able to do so from there.

This change is only related to education and certification, so you'll still be able to access your Google Partners account at for company affiliation, company profile, Partner status, promotional offers, and insights.

We hope you enjoy the new experience with Academy for Ads!

For more information, please visit our Help Center . You can also contact your Google Partners advisor to learn more or join the Google Partners North American Advertiser Community to ask questions and chat with fellow Partners.

See you online,

The Google Partners Team