Google has expanded its relationship with dynamic TV ad platform Visible World. The deal represents another incremental step in the gradual development of the company’s television business, and could give advertisers that appreciate the measurability of digital advertising an incentive to use Google for TV.
However while it gives Google TV advertisers more optimization capabilities, it won’t necessarily lead to greater adoption of Google TV by the firm’s search advertisers — which has always been one of the promises the platform has held for Google’s broadcast and cable partners.
Google has worked with Visible World in the past for advertisers such as computer firm Lenovo. Now, all advertisers buying media through Google’s system can employ Visible World’s creative optimization capabilities. And they can determine which ads are working best in a campaign based on the performance of unique URLs, phone numbers, or calls to action.
However, Google will not enable Visible World’s geo-targeting or other targeting options. Though Google typically has scored with direct response TV buyers and some national brand advertisers, it has missed out on local TV budgets. For instance, some media buyers that like using Google’s system for national ad buys usually can’t use it for local or regional advertisers or campaigns.
Google does allow targeting based on TV program content, day-part, and Nielsen audience segments. By allowing advertisers to optimize ad creative and messaging, the Visible World deal could help advertisers mimic elements of search marketing. In the same way that search advertisers create multiple variations of ads targeted based on specific keywords, Google TV advertisers can now have several ad iterations created dynamically and optimized based on performance.
“One of the barriers to greater adoption is [creating] the number of messages required in a cost effective way,” said Visible World President Tara Walpert Levy. Essentially, advertisers upload TV commercial assets and messages into the Visible World platform, which now works in conjunction with Google’s ad delivery system. Lenovo, for example, had about 50 different ad variations running through the Google network using Visible World’s system last year, according to Walpert Levy.
The Google deal gives Visible World broader distribution of its platform. The company works with large and mid-size brand advertisers from automotive to online retailers; this may help Google connect with more brand advertisers.
Google does allow smaller advertisers without pre-existing TV spots to create ads through a relationship with SpotMixer, and pairs advertisers with other ad production services. Mike Steib, director of Google TV Ads, believes the ability to test ad creative more efficiently through the new partnership will appeal to small advertisers. “They need metrics,” he said, adding, “This is much more consistent with the way they already market their businesses.”
Still, without the ability to target locally in Google’s cable-based network, it’s unclear whether the Visible World offering will help attract more small advertisers. Google’s system currently offers inventory from EchoStar’s DISH satellite network, Bloomberg, the Hallmark Channel, The Outdoor Network, CBS College Sports, Oxygen, SyFy, game show network GSN, and NBC Universal cable networks including Sleuth, Chiller, and MSNBC. Google said its network now reaches over 95 million households.
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