Google Debuts ‘Real-Time Ads’ To Drive Live Engagement

GamedayGoogle sounds more and more like Twitter, heralding ways marketers can tap into live events for engagement.

As such, the company on Wednesday rolled out a new ad product called Real-Time Ads at a press event in New York.

With Real-Time Ads, Google aims to capitalize on the ripple effect of live events, such as sports events, political rallies or awards shows, along with all of the consumer and brand conversations that arise because of them.

The format can be “dynamically inserted” across YouTube, “hundreds of thousands of apps” and about two million sites across the Google Display Network, according to Tara Walpert Levy, managing director of agency sales for Google.

“It’s a way for marketers to launch ads that are relevant and timely to what’s happening during a live event, and connect with audiences in a deeper way,” Walpert Levy said.

YouTube is productizing ways to “time” mobile, video and display ads more sequentially with what’s happening on live TV. For instance, advertiser EA Games wanted to time the latest release of “Madden NFL” to live event footage. 

Working with Google, it generated GIF highlights through a “Madden GIFERATOR,” and pushed dynamic messaging such as, “It’s halftime, go think of a way to stop me!” featuring key players across sports sites and apps in the Google Display Network.

And American Express beta tested Real-Time Ads to drive tune-in for its live concert streaming series by dynamically swapping out set lists in placements.

Google didn’t divulge much about the workflow requirements for serving a Real-Time Ad, but Walpert Levy said it’s the same process for an ad campaign that’s running across AdWords or Google Display Network, except the content is typically “pre-planned” and inserted dynamically.

Other beta testers will tap preexisting assets – a voluminous library of video on-demand content in the case of Comcast – to time video ads sequentially to the Oscars’ award show.

YouTube is also touting itself as the primary video destination for the biggest live sports event of them all: the Super Bowl.

It will aggregate all Super Bowl video ads into one central location/program called YouTube AdBlitz, allowing consumers to discuss and vote on ads. It’s telling marketers that ads running against AdBlitz video content generate four times higher watch time than non-AdBlitz program content.

“We’re now seeing a whole Super Bowl cycle,” Walpert Levy claimed. “We’re seeing demand earlier and earlier and marketers looking to build buzz through video teasers before the spot even runs.”

YouTube claims consumers viewed Super Bowl video ads more than 300,000 times on its platform during last year’s game day. It also shared Pixability data that found advertisers got 2.2 times the number of views and 3.1 times the number shares when ads were published pre-game.

“This data tells us pre-releasing content is more effective,” Walpert Levy added, “and people’s content consumption patterns have changed.”

Real-Time Ads are presently in beta and will roll out more widely at the end of the year.

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