Next Step for Google’s Mobile Ads

Company moves forward with DoubleClick/AdMob integration

It looks like Google is finally putting the pieces of its mobile advertising strategy together.

Back in 2010, after months of regulatory scrutiny, the company completed its acquisition of mobile advertising startup AdMob. Last month, Google's head of mobile for the Americas (who joined Google through the AdMob deal) said the company is now in the "execution phase" of its mobile ad strategy. And today, Google announced that it has completed the first campaign that integrates AdMob with its DoubleClick ad server.

According to Google product manager Clay Bavor, this is an important move because it allows advertisers to combine their desktop and mobile ad campaigns. And that, in turn, makes mobile campaigns "more efficient, with much better metrics.

"It's really a stepping stone to that place where you can say, 'I want to reach this set of users, and I don't want to have to think about whether they're on a mobile phone,'" Bavor said. He said Google sees this "seamless cross-platform" approach as "the future."

As for the pilot campaign, AdMob ran rich media ads for Intel, serving 1 million impressions in June. Google reports that 19.5 percent of users who saw the ad engaged with it—for example by tapping on it or visiting the mobile website that it linked to. And the ad was displayed for an average of more than 15 seconds. Those numbers aren't extraordinary—Google recently highlighted a campaign for Lynx Excite which saw an average engagement of two minutes, while a recent Campbell's Soup campaign in Apple's mobile iAds program saw average engagement of nearly one minute. Still, the Intel engagement time was three times longer than the average DoubleClick rich media campaign. (Google released more data about DoubleClick's rich media ads earlier this week.) 

Amit Prakash, director of digital analytics at Intel's agency OMD, agreed that turning DoubleClick into a single source for PC and mobile ads is attractive. He also pointed to one of Google's other big advantages in the mobile advertising marketplace—its global reach.

"With our global role, it makes sense to work with them a lot," Prakash said. "They were able to start a campaign in seven countries at once, which is pretty impressive."

The campaign results were solid, Bavor said, and more importantly they show that "the pipes" of the DoubleClick/AdMob infrastructure work. Google plans to start testing the integration with a few more partners before a broader rollout, he added.