Google Bringing TrueView Ads to Apps, Games

Marks the first time users will be able to skip ads outside video

Seventy percent of YouTube’s in-steam ad views are those skippable TrueView ads, Google’s svp of advertising Susan Wojcicki told attendees of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Annual Leadership Meeting on Tuesday in Phoenix, Ariz. And consumers should expect a lot more of TrueView, as Wojcicki announced that now users will soon be seeing—or not seeing—such skippable ads in apps and games.

The move marks the first time Google will run TrueView ads against nonvideo inventory, Wojcicki said, and is intended to “enable users to have more choice.” Google has previously said, and Wojcicki reiterated, that TrueView ads have led to a 40 percent reduction in the number of people who click away from a video when shown a pre-roll.

While a first for TrueView ads, this isn’t the first time Google has extended the idea of at-will advertising outside of video. Last October the company introduced the Lightbox format that extends a standard, static ad into a rich-media or video unit when a user mouses over it for a couple of seconds.

The TrueView news was at the center of five talking points Wojcicki laid out during her future-looking keynote—all five of which began with the letter "C"—in this case, choice. Keeping with the "C" theme, Wojcicki spoke about "Generation C" which consists of people who are “connected all the time and generating content all the time.” The other four Cs were control, charm, connected and calibration.

Wojcicki highlighted control by noting that for every user that opts out to share their browsing behavior data with Google, two users give the company data about themselves. As for charm, that is the idea that ads should be better looking and more interactive—and that the best creative shouldn’t be limited to publishers’ homepages but span all ads.

In addition, Wojcicki said that connected means that ads should be able to easily flow across devices which gave her a chance to cite Google’s rollout of Enhanced Campaigns to AdWords.

Calibration is perhaps where Google and others have the most work to do. “All ads will be measured, but clicks are only one measurement type,” Wojcicki said in describing calibration. Google’s ad products don’t only rely on clicks, but the company has built its nearly $43.7 billion ad business on the back of easily attributable search clicks. The impact of ads “has been harder for us to measure. We don’t have as many good metrics,” she said.

To that end, Google is tying its Consumer Surveys product with AdWords so that advertisers can survey users who have seen an ad about their thoughts on the brand or its product and compare that with a control group that didn’t see the ad in order to measure lift. Solve Media has partnered with comScore on a similar survey program for that company’s type-in ads. Whether users will want to take those surveys will remain to be seen.

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