As we’ve said before, we’ve entered the next wave of digital marketing, as major brands like L’Oreal, Audi and Kay Jewelers embrace digital media and make it a core part of their marketing strategy. We’ve seen a 65 percent increase in the last quarter alone in the number of brand advertisers using our brand formats and buying tools.

This influx of brand investment is translating into meaningful results for digital publishers.
  • We looked at the 50 top publishers that enable brand-friendly ad formats on their sites. Over the past three months we found that, on average, they experienced a CPM increase of 2x or more when running these engagement-driven ads, such as our Lightbox ad, which expands to a full page only after a user has deliberately engaged with the ad. "We've seen CPM increases of more than 3X, and our advertisers love the large canvas and pay for engagement model," says Rich Dredge,'s Chief Revenue Officer.
  • We’ve seen an overall increase in higher CPMs across our exchange -- in the U.S., CPMs over $5 have increased 24% year-over-year while those over $10 have increased 23% year-over-year. Brand spend is a critical piece of these increases.
Fueling brand adoption
To continue this momentum, we’ve been investing in a suite of brand solutions over the past year to help these advertisers make the most of what digital marketing has to offer:
  • New Ways to Buy -- Last year, we introduced Active View, offering for the first time the ability to not only measure whether ads are viewable, but actually buy based on it. Brands are able to “reserve” a guaranteed number of impressions on brand-friendly sites across the web -- and they pay only for impressions that are viewed. 
    • Over the past year, the number of advertisers using the reserve option has increased fourfold.
    • Nearly two-thirds of those are Ad Age top 100 brands. 
  • New Ways to Engage -- Last year, we introduced a new family of brand-friendly, engagement-focused ad formats. Engagement formats are already showing terrific early returns. For example, L’ORÉAL PARiS was one of the first brands to run a campaign using engagement ads. They ran an expandable ad in Germany as part of their “Beauty Minute” campaign and found that 30% of those who expanded the ad watched the entire 30-second embedded video. 

  • New Ways to Measure -- We’re committed to providing meaningful metrics for brands, measurement that goes beyond just clicks and conversions. Earlier this week, we introduced Brand Lift in AdWords, which will enable marketers to run surveys along with their ad campaigns, to determine how their ads helped their marketing objectives (i.e., whether their ads helped build awareness, increased favorability towards their brand, etc.). Brand Lift complements our other investments in brand measurement, like Active View and Active GRP. 
Digital media represents an amazing opportunity for both brands and publishers, bringing together sight, sound, motion, interactivity and measurement in ways we’ve never seen before.

Over the coming year, we’ll be continuing to invest in our products and systems that will help brands thrive in the digital space, as well as help publishers capitalize on the stay tuned for more to come.

Posted by Neal Mohan