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Digital Media Owners: Offering greater flexibility or taking creative decisions away from advertisers?

With recent Google beta launches of both new responsive display ads on the Display Network and responsive text ads on the Search Network, the digital giant is looking to provide even more flexible digital real estate with the goal of saving advertisers valuable time and effort in content creation. This is certainly one way to look at, but let’s try a different angle…

Google is taking more creative decisions into their own hands with the launch of new responsive ad formats within the display and search networks, giving the digital giant flexibility to adjust creatives and optimise delivery so they are the ‘perfect fit’ for formats across its real estate portfolio. And it’s not just Google… Facebook recently increased its own dynamic ads offering across travel, automobile and property sector, allowing advertisers to promote relevant items within product catalogues.

Whichever way you look at it, there’s no denying that there are extra features for advertisers to explore and test… and that’s exciting!

Google’s new display formats see advertisers given the option to utilise features of dynamic, static and smart display creatives into one format whilst its responsive text ads on the Search network can show an extra headline and longer description. Advertisers can set up to 15 headlines and 4 descriptions in a responsive search ad, letting machine-learning models optimise the ad elements and push the best-performers the hardest following an initial learning period.


All Response Media viewpoint

There are clear benefits to new responsive/dynamic formats – specifically, for Google Display, the ability to increase eligibility and receive higher impression volumes across ad space formats on the GDN, and for Search, the extra real estate through longer search text ads as well as the opportunities to test more headlines and descriptions without the need for multiple rounds of time-consuming AB split tests.

We are already seeing examples of advertisers using more leftfield approaches to text ads – for example, doing away completely with using keywords in headlines and opting for something that ‘stands out’ more on the search engine result page (SERP), perhaps highlighting a product feature that is usually side-lined somewhat. The opportunity to test more ad copy, quicker, is appealing and an opportunity not to be missed especially whilst the feature is shiny and new.

But equally, advertisers need to ensure they remain in control as the true experts in media performance, ensuring Google’s lease is kept taut. After all, Google is quick to bring tests to market and then either push a small or large amount of traffic through such tests, but it can be just as quick to remove them if, in their eyes, it hasn’t been a success. It also has very different motivations to advertisers, motivations which are not completely focussed on generating highly-targeted traffic and direct response…

At All Response Media, we have years and years of collective experience and expertise across digital, providing our clients with effective direct-response campaigns that generate quality leads and sales. And we’re not planning on taking our eye off the ball just yet!