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Google Interactive Ads: What Are They & How Can Brands Take Advantage of Them?

If you are looking for innovative ways to build brand recognition and connect with consumers across various channels, interactive ads are the way to go. As online channels continue to develop and merge with offline ones, interactive content plays a major role when it comes to unique marketing activities. The recent launch of Google Interactive Ads signals a new development in how brands can connect with consumers via advertising, and in this article we’ll explain not just how this new technology works, but also how brands can apply it.

What Are Google Interactive Ads?

Modern interactive marketing and advertising is a new and unexplored field for many businesses. For many years, the term ‘interactive’ was synonymous with ‘digital’, but most ads like that had a passive format. Now, though, when applied to video advertising, the term interactive is used to describe a two-way communication between advertisers and their audiences. At this early stage of interactive advertising, businesses tend to lean towards experimenting with interactive video content, print and offline activities.

Google Interactive Ads include features like a clickable button that leads visitors to social channels, an option to choose multiple categories, additional layers beyond the main ad, or even asking the audience to complete a task before the product or offer is shown. The travel, retail, and consumer packaged goods industries can benefit the most from these new ad formats with Trial Run Ads and Interactive Interstitials currently in beta. Here’s what these new formats will allow brands to do:

Trial Run Ads

Trial Run Ads are an app ad format (currently in Beta form) that lets a user play a game for up to 60 seconds by streaming content from the app before downloading. The immersive demo increases the likelihood that an install is coming from someone who enjoys playing the game. Advertisers will still only have to pay when a user installs their app, not every time someone runs through a trial game.

That way, they’ll only be shelling out for users who are genuinely interested in playing the game, versus those who downloaded it based simply on a product screenshot or description. Trial run ads are a form of mobile app-install ads, which has become the most lucrative of all ad types, driving one-third of all mobile ad revenue.

Interactive Interstitials

Interstitial ads are HTML5 ads that offer a completely customised user experience tailored to each advertiser’s app. They give advertisers creative freedom to use HTML5 instead of standard templates and pull in data dynamically. The diversity potential is high with this format and it’s not limited to just gaming apps. Interactive Interstitials offer a custom experience that can include your app’s value proposition and the functionalities you want to highlight, all painted in your personal branding strategy. This is particularly valuable for advertisers who are looking for higher user engagement in installers.

Marketers are already taking advantage of these engaging ads to drive app installs. Zalora, for example, created an ad that allowed users to swipe to discover an exclusive offer.

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How to take advantage of Google interactive ads

It’s clear that video ads are a popular format for Google interactive media ads, displaying short messages to consumers who visit various websites. Other options for interactive ads and content include:

  • Games: Promotions and discounts that require visitors to scratch away, spin, or play a flash game before viewing a deal.
  • Problem Solving: Promotions and discounts that require visitors to draw a picture, build a puzzle, or solve a riddle.
  • Motion Interactions: Promotions and discounts that require visitors to move, shake, tilt, blink, or jump to reveal.

Some interactive marketing campaigns stimulate sharing by focusing the campaign on customisation and creation. For example, with Intel’s ‘Me The Musical’ campaign, users were encouraged to create their own personalised animated musicals and share them on Facebook. Another example is Orbit’s Spotlight Series campaign, which allowed online fans to design and personalise their own boxes of Orbit gum using a Facebook design app. One of our recent blog articles covered some great examples of personalised vs. customised campaigns.

A major advantage of interactive marketing is its ability to be customised and tailored to certain users and consumer groups. With interactive activities, consumers are able to share their preferences and the brand is then able to tailor the advertising messages. Kroger, for example, created a preference-based loyalty program for customers, rewarding shoppers with personalised discounts based on their shopping history.

Adding interactive elements to marketing activities is a unique way to stand out from the competition, build a stronger brand connection and increases brand recognition. Together with innovations from Google and creative ideas from marketing experts, interactive ads will play a significant role over the next year and we look forward to witnessing some intriguing campaigns from exceptional brands.

Have you come across Google Interactive Ads yet? Let us know if you agree with our thoughts about interactive ads, simply comment below or get in touch via social media. And don’t forget to subscribe to the blog to receive new articles straight to your inbox.

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