Google’s Engagement Ads; NYT’s Native Ads

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Now With More Engagement

Google has expanded the capabilities of its Engagement Ads, which run on the Google Display Network, are offered on a CPE (cost per engagement) basis and are more interactive than static banner ads. Engagement Ads now run across mobile devices and have a “shoppable” format, meaning users can purchase items directly within the ad itself. Just in time for that last-minute holiday buying binge. Read more on Google’s blog.

Native Advertising In The NYT

Amid controversy around The New York Times’ January rollout of a digital native-advertising product, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. emphasized in a letter to newspaper employees that there would be “strict separation between the newsroom and the job of creating content for the new native ads.’’ In other words, he plans to slap on all sorts of labels and visual cues to differentiate paid content from editorial. Read more.

Innovation Pays Off

Foursquare has introduced multiple monetization options this year and it has “paid” off, as the company just raised $35 million in a Series D round, according to AllThingsD. “I think we are really delivering on the promises we made with the recommendations service and we had a better case when after we were able to get it out there for everyone to see,” said COO Evan Cohen. Read more.

The Year Of Mobile

Mobile ad spend continues to take a larger portion of the spend pie, and according to eMarketer it will account for 22.5% of all digital ad investments. Google is in the No. 1 spot in terms of ad spend, but Facebook has ascended to the second spot now that it has opened up its news feed inventory to include mobile. Mobile apps aren’t the whole story, as mobile Internet spending is expected to grow 105.9% to top $18.15 billion this year. Read more.

Photo Ad Case Studies

Instagram took a stab at monetization by offering ads on its platform and so far the company is happy with the results. A blog post details the results of two companies, Levi’s and Ben & Jerry’s, which both used in-stream ads to engage with fans. Levi’s was able to reach 7.4 million people in the United States over nine days, and Ben & Jerry’s reached 9.8 million over eight days. Instagram reported a 32-point incremental lift in ad recall. Read the Instagram Biz Tumblr post.

The eBay, Amazon Battle

eBay’s 34 acquisitions in the last five years (and recent unification of many of them under the eBay Enterprise umbrella) have prepped it for a serious fight against Amazon, according to Jeff Himmelman of The New York Times. With the majority of commerce still occurring offline, both retail stalwarts are racing to connect their own respective worlds of digital wallets and Web marketplaces with same-day delivery, marketing services and cross-platform identity plays. Read more.

Bots Are Winning

The topic of impression fraud has been pretty hot this year, but as Solve Media’s quarterly look at the problems shows, the problem is as intractable as ever. Read the release. The report found that 51% of US Web activity during Q3 was believed to be fraudulent — a rise of 8% in Q3 2013. The solution appears to be in the promise of viewability — another big topic in 2013. “As fraudulent Web traffic in the US rises, marketers must defend their hard-fought budgets by investing with publishers that ensure their branding is being seen by actual people who can truly complete purchases,” said Solve Media CEO Ari Jacoby.

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