Google Wants to Prove Its Video Ads Drive Offline Sales for Brands

Gatorade, Mars are first to see new stats

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Three years after running studies to show marketers how their YouTube campaigns lift brand awareness and purchase intent, Google is starting to track sales stats to see if online video can move the needle.

Today, YouTube and Oracle Data Cloud are announcing a new partnership to offer consumer-packaged-goods marketers in the U.S. data on how their ads affect in-store purchases.

According to Google's early tests, 78 percent of TrueView—the skippable YouTube ads—indicated an increase in offline sales. Sixty-one percent of those ads generated a "statistically significant" increase in sales.

Gatorade, Doritos and Pedigree have all experimented with Google's so-called sales lift studies.

Specifically, Gatorade's 2015 "We Love Sweat" ad starring Serena Williams generated $13.05 in sales for every dollar the brand put toward TrueView ads. The campaign also generated a 16 percent lift in new buyers who saw the commercial versus new buyers who had not seen the ad.

Mars-owned Pedigree tested two types of ads: one that pushed branding elements early on and one that did so toward the end of the clip. The video that made the quick plug for the brand generated a sales lift seven times greater than that of the other ad.

The new stats are the latest indication that Google and Facebook are increasingly trying to one-up each other when it comes to digital video. On Monday, Google launched 360-degree livestreaming a week after Facebook unveiled its big video push.

"This new sales lift offering drops the last piece into place for full funnel measurement of CPG campaigns on YouTube, and we're excited to bring you new creative and media strategy insights that drive incremental sales as we scale these studies," Mark Thomas, YouTube's brand management product manager, wrote in a blog post today.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.