4 Creative-Focused Changes Coming to Google Ads in 2019

Couldn’t make it to Google Marketing Live 2019 in San Francisco? Yeah, well that makes two of us. Have no fear though, because yours truly was tuned in to the opening keynote last night (it kicked off around 7pm local time here in Tallinn).

Google Marketing Live 2018 was all about “trust and transparency”, and that was still very much on the table this year. Now, however it’s become part of a wider message, the core of which was: Be responsible, be there and be useful. That is to say, be relevant to the right people, at the right time and be respectful of their privacy while doing it.

The real challenge is combining relevance and timing without compromising privacy, and on stage Philipp Schindler, SVP Chief Business Officer of Google was pretty open about that, saying that while they were announcing some big improvements, “it won’t satisfy all marketers needs”. Another common thread in this year’s keynote was mobile and how it is the number 1 platform for consumer engagement.

Let’s take a look at the 4 biggest creative announcements from #GoogleMarketingLive 2019


1. Swipeable carousels coming to Discover

Despite what you may have heard, the news feed isn’t dead just yet. Google unveiled their Discover app back in September and now, to the surprise of literally no one they have unveiled a new way to advertise in it.

Later this year, Google will allow advertisers to engage customers with customisable, swipeable image carousels. known as Discovery ads. You’ll be able to serve them across a range of Google properties, including the YouTube home feed, Gmail promotions tab and, of course, the feed in Google Discover.

Early indications show that they’ll deliver solid results, just as NEXD has seen with its own swipeable ads. Online subscription fashion retailer, TechStyle, enjoyed a 25% reduction in cost-per lead during early testing.


2. Gallery ads coming to search

It’s no secret that the search network is the boss when it comes to commercial intent. But where does that leave visual creative? Google announced that they will combine the intent of search with an interactive, visual ad format.

Gallery ads are a combination of images and text, that allow advertisers to use copy, along with visuals to reach their prospects via the search network. Much like the Discovery ads mentioned above, Gallery ads feature a swipeable image carousel. What sets Gallery ads apart is that they sit at the top of the search results page.

These ads will roll out later this year and I am keen to see how they perform in the wild. Early indications show that they’ll enjoy the same kind of performance uplift we’ve seen with our own interactive ads, increasing user interactions by up to 25%


3. Easy YouTube bumper ads

Want to know know how to leave a lasting impression with video, without irritating consumers? Shorter is better. Data collected by Google last year shows that a series of the three, 6-second bumper ads leaves a much longer impression with the audience than one, long 30-second video.

That’s great and all, but it poses a problem for some advertisers, particularly smaller businesses. In their case, it’s more common to have a 60-second to 90-second video. Converting that into something shorter and sweeter poses something of a challenge.

So, Google will be rolling out the bumper machine, a tool that lives inside Google Ads that allow advertisers to take a video shorter than 90-seconds and chop it up into a series of YouTube-friendly bumper ads.


4. Shopping showcase ads come to more properties

This is not so much a new creative development and more of an expansion of an existing creative.

Over the coming months, Google will be expanding shopping showcase ads to image search results, discover search results and YouTube.

And for those aren’t familiar with shopping showcase ads,  where a shopping ad takes the user straight to the landing page, the showcase displays a catalogue of related products. The logic being that, in this case, the prospect is looking for inspiration, they’re more top-mid funnel, so presenting an array of options for consideration can be beneficial. 


Wrapping up

We’re big fans of engaging, interactive ads here at NEXD and seeing Google unveil more products in this space is validation of our belief in this kind of creating delivering results.

Also, providing smaller businesses with tools to do more with what they have is absolutely something we can get behind. For example, we’ve made trimming long video ads a breeze, simply because all of the data shows shorter ads work better and we want everyone to be able to benefit from them.