Today Google is rolling out a new suite of tools on its Create with Google platform, so that agencies, brands, and creatives can make better—and better-performing—ads that will work on Google and YouTube. Originally launched in June in a handful of markets, Create with Google is now available globally with a host of new capabilities.
“The tools we’re introducing are to help our creative partners to get more real-time data and understanding about their work,” says Sadie Thoma, Google’s director of U.S. creative partnerships, “so they can learn and make sure it’s as effective as possible.”
Most of the new “Audience Connect” tools revolve around a variety of real-time feedback, whether it’s the ability to survey viewers of a creative presentation about the presentation as part of the presentation, or a “Pulse Exercise” feature that allows viewers to indicate moments in a presentation or video that capture their interest most with heart icons (like the real-time reactions seen on Instagram Live videos). The tools invite the audience to connect and engage with Google Slides presentations in real time from their phones.
For Thoma, these tools allow brand creatives and marketers to better create and evaluate work in a real-world setting. “It’s just the notion that, so many times we’re pitching creative ideas in a way that isn’t how an audience will see it,” she says. “No one is ever going to watch a storyboard. Or you’re playing an ad on a giant screen, but most people will be seeing it on their phones. The YouTube mock-up is meant to empower agencies and clients to see the work as it’ll appear.”
You may have a gorgeous video ad that opens with a dark landscape shot. It looks fantastic on that 50-inch screen in the boardroom, but on someone’s phone during their morning commute? Not so much. The Audience Connect tool will not only show creators when that commuter is most likely to hit the skip button, but also if the button itself is blocking some key part of the ad—like a product shot. The tool measures audience skip behavior in real time, then aggregates the data and displays it in the next presentation slide after the video finishes.
In testing, the “Pulse Exercise” feature helped a client decide between one longer-form ad, or multiple short ads. “If most people are skipping before most of the messages are delivered in the long-form ad, then there’s an issue,” says Thoma. “Do you optimize and adjust the long-form ad, or do you see that there are pulses in certain areas of that ad and then cut it down into six-second ads around where those specific pulses are hitting the hardest? It’s a tool to better optimize how you’re laying down your story.”
As uncomfortable as it is, we already know about all the personal data we’re giving tech companies with every app download and OS update. Google wants marketers to be able to use it as effectively and creatively as possible. Just for you.
“We no longer live in a one-ad-fits-all environment,” says Thoma, “because we have the data, tools, and technology to make smarter decisions about how we can creatively optimize the work to be more relevant.”