Google’s VP of video ads: ‘There is a high cost for marketers that bore our users’

Having announced several new changes, including the introduction of cross-device targeting, to its advertising network, Brad Bender, Google’s VP of video and display advertising, says creating poor online video advertising is now “very costly”.


Google has used Advertising Week in the US to announce several new features for its ad network.

So what are they?

Cross-device remarketing for Google Display Network will allow marketers to target the same user regardless of the device they are using, in order to help advertisers tell a single, coherent story. It will also allow brands to dictate how frequently a user sees an ad across multiple devices.

The move will allow Google to rival Facebook’s cross-device strength, which allows the latter to make full use of its enormous volume of always-logged-in users.

In a bid to ‘help marketers close the loop between online ads and offline sales’, the Google Display Network will also add new options that make it easier to monitor an online ad’s impact on the sales of a physical store.

New location extensions and store visit measurement will utilise Google Maps – which can monitor 200 million global stores with 99% accuracy, Google claims – to count how many store, dealership or restaurant visits are registered once an ad goes live. Marketers can drive foot traffic into stores by displaying their business address, Google Maps directions and photos across the Google Display Network.

There will also be an extension to Google’s Brand Lift products, which will show marketers in real-time how TV ads increase both Google and YouTube searches. According to the tech giant, YouTube generates almost twice as many searches per impression for brands than television.

Each change is expected to be rolled by the end of the year.

Avoiding boring content

Speaking to Marketing Week ahead of Advertising Week in New York, Brad Bender, Google’s vice president of display and video advertising, said the “lines between the physical and digital worlds are now, more or less, completely blurred”.

“You could be watching baseball on the TV, Stranger Things on demand and a music video on YouTube on your mobile. These are three very different types of content and marketers find it hard to get a holistic picture of how they are performing across all these platforms. We want to close the loop,” he explained.

“Around 75% of adults now use multiple devices throughout the day so we want to help marketers overcome the challenge of reaching them and to help them do it in a way that feels natural.”

Brad Bender, VP of display and video advertising, Google

Over 400 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, while in the US 18- to 34-year-olds now consume more content on YouTube than TV, according to Bender. And he says for many among the next generation, YouTube is becoming the “first place they digest advertising”.

However, as YouTube continues to grow among the next generation, he has urged marketers to go the extra mile by creating compelling content.

He advised: “With YouTube video especially, there is now a very high cost for boring users. If you invite users to engage with your brand, they need to be engaged in the first five or six seconds or they will just go away.

“There is a lot of cross-pollination happening and a lot of specific insight available so brands are able to more specifically create stuff relevant for specific channels or segments. Yes, you could just put a TV ad onto YouTube and achieve great success, but you have to try to understand if that’s what your audience really wants.”