Discovery campaigns highlight that Google tries to benefit from its multiple.

New Google Discovery ads.

Last week at Google’s main Marketing Next event it was announced a new feature of advertising will be launched later this year. Google’s Brad Bender, Product VP for Google Display & Video Ads, announced in a Google Marketing Live preview for reporters on Tuesday. Google’s new ad products are designed to reach and communicate to people “not only when they are looking for something specific, but also when open to discovering something new,” explained Bender.

Introducing Discovery ads.

Discovery ads are native ads that appear in multiple Google feed environments. They are a mobile initiative, ‘visually rich’ and use the ‘power of intent’. This basically means consumers’ past site visitation, app downloads, videos watched, map searches and more.

How do they work?

To get started, advertisers must specifically generate a Discovery campaign and upload ad copy and creative assets to run discovery ads. Google will then optimize the best performing combinations using machine learning.

Depending on users’ account settings, Google may use web and app activity, device information, location history and home location to personalise feed content, which is largely AMP enabled.

Where do they appear?

Discovery ads appear in the Google Discover feed (iOS, Android Google app and mobile on the mobile YouTube feed and in Gmail (under the social and promotions tabs). On YouTube and Discover, they look like native in-feed ads with large images, a headline and a subject field with information. In Gmail, they look and function just like regular Gmail ads.

Like Google’s other dynamic ad formats, machine learning will mix and match the creative to best appeal to the individual. Part of Google’s pitch is that it can handle the guesswork of knowing which platform an advertiser’s ads should appear on. Once advertisers upload their creative, Google’s machine-learning technology finds the right platform and audience to serve an ad.

Discovery ads are charged on a cost-per-click basis and they are set to launch later this year globally.

Why are these important?

Discovery campaigns highlight that Google tries to benefit from its multiple properties and use its audience data to automate ad targeting and serving across its ecosystem. The Discover feed, which according to Google now reaches over 800 million users around the world, hasn’t been monetised before, so this is a completely new arena for advertising. Opening it up to ad placement is destined to be a gold rush for marketers, as mobile devices continue to hold the position as the frontier of the digital marketing space.

“In a world where we have less time and more options, it’s crucial for brands to anticipate what consumers need in order to stand out”, said Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s SVP of advertising and commerce. “People turn to Google to communicate, find answers and stay entertained. And increasingly, they’re swiping and scrolling through feeds as part of that journey—whether it’s browsing videos in the YouTube home feed, checking timely offers in the Gmail Promotions tab or swiping through Discover to catch up on the latest news. These are opportunities for brands to engage them when it matters.”

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