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Ever since Weight Watchers first began as a gathering of friends in 1963, the company has been helping people lose pounds and live healthier lives. Today the Weight Watchers digital marketing team is focused on acquiring new generations of customers for those classic local meetings as well as their online products and services.

The Weight Watchers team has had ample success with search and social media, where they found it easy to test different headlines and calls to action. But they hadn't found a way to do the same kind of vigorous testing on display advertising. Building and managing dozens of creative iterations, and accurately measuring the results, seemed like a major challenge.

To tackle that challenge, Weight Watchers, its agencies, Neo@Ogilvy and OgilvyOne, chose DoubleClick Dynamic Creative.

See how they managed their creative testing to identify the best-performing creative iterations and boost acquisition volume by 56%.

Posted by Becky Chappell
Product Marketing Manager, Google Web Designer

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Brands can engage with their customers and drive brand loyalty by building branded apps that offer useful or entertaining information. Examples of branded apps include airline apps that provide check-in functionality, banking apps that provide bill pay and check deposit, and retail loyalty apps that drive in-store purchases. By providing functionality that people need regularly in a convenient way, these brands are able to remind customers of their value proposition and build stronger relationships.

But to get this customer loyalty, you first need to get people to install your app.

App install campaigns help you promote your app to your customers, so they can discover and install it. Having your branded app on your customers’ phones means you can be front-and-center on the screen that people check over 150 times a day, leading to increased brand awareness and mindshare.

Today, we’re excited to announce several new features across our DoubleClick Digital Marketing solutions that help you easily build an app install campaign to promote your branded apps.

Step 1: Set up tracking

Before you launch your app install campaign, make sure your app is setup to track installs (and other in-app actions your customers may take), so that you can understand which ads are most effective.

  • If your app is in the Google Play Store, you can now automatically track installs of your Google Play app as conversions in DoubleClick, without any code changes.
  • If your app is in the Apple App Store or if you work with an app measurement provider, we support integration with popular third party app tracking platforms (initially announced in September), so that you can track installs measured by those systems as conversions for your campaign.

Step 2: Build your ads

Your customers are viewing content across search, display, and video, so your app install campaigns need to reach them in all those places.

  • Use the new templated app install creative formats in DoubleClick Bid Manager to generate your programmatic display ads instantly. These templates pull in info about your app from the Google Play or Apple App Store to create app install banners at the click of a button.
  • Build, traffic and serve one rich media unit that works seamlessly across web and app environments, with universal ads, now available in DoubleClick Campaign Manager.
  • Through DoubleClick Search, you can access some of our highest performing ad formats; app install Search ads, launched last May, promote your app on Google Search results or on Google Play Search (Android only), and our new app extensions allow you to link to your app from your Google Search text ads.

Step 3: Reach your customers

Our app install workflow in DoubleClick Bid Manager makes it easy to get your programmatic app install campaign up and running. In concert with this workflow, several new features make it even simpler and more effective:

  • Create custom lists of apps to ensure that your ads show up in the apps you care about or that drive the best performance -- easily target or exclude lists of apps, giving you control over where your brand shows up.
  • Already have an audience list of customers who’ve visited your mobile website? Use same device targeting to reach those interested customers with your app install campaign.
  • Leverage the audience targeting solutions within DoubleClick Bid Manager (launched in November) for your app install campaigns, to reach your customers using in-market audiences, affinity segments or demographic groups.
  • Drive higher performance and engagement with video ads; we’re launching a new video app install workflow in early March that enables easy campaign setup and targeting of video app inventory across the open exchange.

The new video app install line item workflow in DoubleClick Bid Manager


Running app install campaigns can help drive more customers to your branded apps, paving the way for a deeper connection between your customers and your brand. Talk to your media agency and DoubleClick sales rep about getting started with these campaigns.

Posted by Steve Chang
Product Manager, DoubleClick

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Sridhar Ramaswamy, Google’s SVP for Ads and Commerce, spoke today at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Palm Desert, CA. Building on the theme of “The Next $50B,” Sridhar reinforced Google’s commitment to better mobile experiences in order to move the digital advertising industry forward.

A faster mobile experience

Half of all users tell us waiting for slow pages to load is their top frustration with mobile. Let’s face it, your mobile strategy is irrelevant if people don’t stick around waiting for your page to load. That’s the premise behind Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), an open-source technology we announced last October that any publisher can use to make their pages load instantly - and also integrate with any advertising partner.

Sridhar provided an update on the work we’ve been doing with our partners since then to test a range of monetization solutions, from programmatic ad serving to native ads to paywalls. In this time, we’ve also built an ecosystem of third party providers who will support AMP.

Better mobile ads

With AMP we're excited to bring new, compelling mobile experiences to users. But we are also focusing on preventing bad experiences - and Sridhar shared the latest on those efforts. For example, have you ever been swiping through a slideshow of photos on your mobile device and all of a sudden an ad you didn’t mean to tap takes you to another site? We developed technology to detect and prevent these accidental taps - and we block a significant number of them everyday.

We also have policies in place for sites and apps that show Google ads. In 2015, we stopped showing ads on 25,000 apps that didn't meet our guidelines. Two-thirds of them were for bad practices, like ads that covered up your content. This means users have a better ad experience and it also helps publishers and all of those who depend on a healthy digital ads ecosystem. (Learn how we fought bad ads in 2015.)

Measurement across devices

As we work to create better mobile experiences, we can take advantage of one big upside of mobile: measurement. With mobile, we’re able to tap into more signals, and get more relevant data, from device to location to time of day.

Advertisers and publishers can use this data to make mobile ads better and improve business outcomes. For example, Sridhar shared how Cadreon used cross-device measurement in DoubleClick for an auto client to measure the impact of mobile on each conversion, ultimately realizing a 15% lift in total conversions and developing new insights to feed back into their media planning.

Watch Sridhar's full keynote here:

Posted by Jonathan Meltzer
Head of Platforms and Publisher Marketing, Google

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Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog

When ads are good, they connect you to products or services you’re interested in and make it easier to get stuff you want. They also keep a lot of what you love about the web—like news sites or mobile apps—free.

But some ads are just plain bad—like ads that carry malware, cover up content you’re trying to see, or promote fake goods. Bad ads can ruin your entire online experience, a problem we take very seriously. That’s why we have a strict set of policies for the kinds of ads businesses can run with Google—and why we’ve invested in sophisticated technology and a global team of 1,000+ people dedicated to fighting bad ads. Last year alone we disabled more than 780 million ads for violating our policies—a number that's increased over the years thanks to new protections we've put in place. If you spent one second looking at each of these ads, it’d take you nearly 25 years to see them all!

Here are some of the top areas we focused on in our fight against bad ads in 2015:

Busting bad ads

Some bad ads, like those for products that falsely claim to help with weight loss, mislead people. Others help fraudsters carry out scams, like those that lead to “phishing” sites that trick people into handing over personal information. Through a combination of computer algorithms and people at Google reviewing ads, we’re able to block the vast majority of these bad ads before they ever get shown. Here are some types of bad ads we busted in 2015:

Counterfeiters

We suspended more than 10,000 sites and 18,000 accounts for attempting to sell counterfeit goods (like imitation designer watches).

Pharmaceuticals

We blocked more than 12.5 million ads that violated our healthcare and medicines policy, such as ads for pharmaceuticals that weren’t approved for use or that made misleading claims to be as effective as prescription drugs.

Weight loss scams

Weight loss scams, like ads for supplements promising impossible-to-achieve weight loss without diet or exercise, were one of the top user complaints in 2015. We responded by suspending more than 30,000 sites for misleading claims.

Phishing

In 2015, we stepped up our efforts to fight phishing sites, blocking nearly 7,000 sites as a result.

Unwanted software

Unwanted software can slow your devices down or unexpectedly change your homepage and keep you from changing it back. With powerful new protections, we disabled more than 10,000 sites offering unwanted software, and reduced unwanted downloads via Google ads by more than 99 percent.

Trick to click

We got even tougher on ads that mislead or trick people into interacting with them—like ads designed to look like system warnings from your computer. In 2015 alone we rejected more than 17 million.

Creating a better experience

Sometimes even ads that offer helpful and relevant information behave in ways that can be really annoying—covering up what you’re trying to see or sending you to an advertiser’s site when you didn’t intend to go there. In 2015, we disabled or banned the worst offenders.

Accidental mobile clicks

We’ve all been there. You’re swiping through a slideshow of the best moments from the Presidential debate when an ad redirects you even though you didn’t mean to click on it. We’re working to end that. We've developed technology to determine when clicks on mobile ads are accidental. Instead of sending you off to an advertiser page you didn't mean to visit, we let you continue enjoying your slideshow (and the advertiser doesn't get charged).

Bad sites and apps

In 2015, we stopped showing ads on more than 25,000 mobile apps because the developers didn’t follow our policies. More than two-thirds of these violations were for practices like mobile ads placed very close to buttons, causing someone to accidentally click the ad. There are also some sites and apps that we choose not to work with because they don’t follow our policies. We also reject applications from sites and mobile apps that want to show Google ads but don't follow our policies. In 2015 alone, we rejected more than 1.4 million applications.

Putting you in control

We also give you tools to control the type of ads you see. You can always let us know when you believe an ad might be violating our policies.

Mute This Ad

Maybe you’ve just seen way too many car ads recently. “Mute This Ad” lets you click an “X” at the top on many of the ads we show and Google will stop showing you that ad and others like it from that advertiser. You can also tell us why. The 4+ billion pieces of feedback we received in 2015 are helping us show better ads and shape our policies.

Ads Settings

In 2015, we rolled out a new design for our Ads Settings where you can manage your ads experience. You can update your interests to make the ads you see more relevant, or block specific advertisers all together.

Looking ahead to 2016

We’re always updating our technology and our policies based on your feedback—and working to stay one step ahead of the fraudsters. In 2016, we’re planning updates like further restricting what can be advertised as effective for weight loss, and adding new protections against malware and bots. We want to make sure all the ads you see are helpful and welcome and we’ll keep fighting to make that a reality.

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy
SVP, Ads & Commerce

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Six months ago at the US DoubleClick Leadership Summit, we announced the start of testing for Programmatic Guaranteed, a new way to use programmatic pipes to execute direct deals. In this time, over 300 advertisers and 200 publishers have tested this capability, and we’ve seen impression volumes double every quarter. Based on your feedback, we’ve made several changes and significantly improved the product. So today, we’re announcing the public beta of Programmatic Guaranteed and opening it to any advertiser using DoubleClick Bid Manager or publisher using DoubleClick for Publishers*.

Programmatic direct spending was expected to reach $8 Billion in 2015 in the US alone - more than 50% of total programmatic display ad spend1. Initial steps to bring the benefits of programmatic to direct deals have been focused on automating the deal booking process. While that’s a good start, it only scratches the surface of what programmatic technology can do. The true value of programmatic direct will be achieved when the power of real-time, data-driven decisions is combined with access to brand safe, reserved publisher inventory currently available through direct sales. This will not only shorten the time it takes to book and execute high value reservations type deals, but also improve advertising performance.

That was our goal when developing Programmatic Guaranteed. It’s the only product available today that uses real-time bidding infrastructure to bring the power of programmatic to direct sales. Advertisers and agencies get access to premium guaranteed inventory with cross-campaign / advertiser optimization and frequency management across programmatic and reservation inventory. Publishers can lock in revenue through reservations, forecast against programmatic deals, and enjoy the ease of automated billing and collections. All that without the need to email tags, worry about creative controls, resolve discrepancies, or fax I/Os back and forth.

Finally, we’ve found that Programmatic Guaranteed is creating new opportunities for advertisers and publishers to connect. Here’s what some of our partners are saying about Programmatic Guaranteed:

“The way we stay ahead is by constantly experimenting and pushing technology to work for us. With Programmatic Guaranteed we can lock in revenue by selling a guaranteed number of impressions at pre-negotiated rates. We’ve seen great success with an initial batch of advertisers so far. Programmatic Guaranteed is simple and effective, and it’s ideally suited to the direct sales environment because clients really understand it.”
-Joe Alicata, VP Revenue Product and Operations, VOX Media

"As a premium publisher we will automate what today is manual. Programmatic Guaranteed is definitely an end to end solution. It is exactly what a publisher like Conde Nast needs to do more in a digital environment that is constantly changing and becoming more demanding."
-Elia Blei, Commercial Director Digital and Large Markets, Condé Nast

“At Generator Media we aim to provide a holistic solution for our clients. Including Programmatic Guaranteed in our offering allows us to manage valuable reserved buys alongside our open exchange and private marketplace activity. Doing so provides a level of frequency and messaging control previously unattainable across large scale digital media buys.”
-Russell Wagner, Director of Platform Integrations, Generator Media

"Programmatic Guaranteed helps the publisher deliver very high quality inventory to the advertiser. When we start a campaign, we always have to start with the publisher: we then fix the price with the publisher, define the placement, the timeline and then we define the volume. Through this, if you compare direct sales with Programmatic Guaranteed, we are returning better results."
-Andrea Di Fonzo, Managing Director, MediaCom Italy

Programmatic Guaranteed is now available to all marketers and buyers using DoubleClick Bid Manager, and all publishers using DoubleClick for Publishers. If you have a reservation deal that would benefit from the efficiencies of programmatic, reach out to your DoubleClick account team today to get started. We’re excited to bring this innovative advertising tool to the market and we look forward to your feedback on how we can best improve Programmatic Guaranteed during the public beta.

Posted by Kurt Spoerer
Senior Product Manager, DoubleClick

1 eMarketer, Oct 2015
* Programmatic Guaranteed is not currently available to publishers using DoubleClick for Publishers Small Business