Google launches Real-Time ads

Life happens in real-time, so why shouldn’t advertising?

Now, it can, now that Google has added Real-Time Ads to AdWords. Initially, Real-Time Ads are available only to select big brands, but will become more widely available later this year.

But what exactly are Real-Time Ads you ask? And what makes them different from garden variety AdWords ads that can be live within the hour?


Above: Google tested Real-Time ads at last year’s Academy Awards. As the winners were announced, real-time congratulatory display ads were launched with the intent to drive people to buy or rent the winning movies on Google Play.

Like a famous person’s obituary, they can be prepared long in advance of the actual event. But they include an ad element (such as a photo or text) which can be updated immediately an event occurs and the ad goes live.

Announcing the new product, Google stated: ”With Real-Time Ads, brands will be able to instantly run an ad across YouTube, hundreds of thousands of apps, and over two million sites in our Google Display Network with a message that ties directly to the big moment consumers just experienced.”

Why should you care?

Google has been talking up micro-moments for the best part of a year now. Micro-moments are those fleeting catch-’em-while-you-can seconds when consumers make decisions, more often than not with a smartphone at the ready. Or, as Google describes them, they are the “want-to-know moments; want-to-go moments; want-to-do moments; want-to-buy moments…the new battleground for brands.”

But think of instant reactions to live events, and like most marketers you probably think Twitter the platform of choice. That could change, given the reach and scale of YouTube and the Google Display Network.

Brands already onboard the Google Real-Time bandwagon include Comcast (targeting the US domestic market during the next Academy Awards), and Wix.com (with plans to use Real-Time ads during the Super Bowl next month).

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About the Author Jeremy Templer

Jeremy is a Partner and Senior Consultant at SureFire. Jeremy has been working in search since 1996, when he joined the Australian search engine, LookSmart. After relocating to San Francisco, he was instrumental in the development of the company’s paid search ad platform. At analytics company Coremetrics (now owned by IBM) he established an in-house search agency managing campaigns for Coremetrics clients such as Macy’s, Bass Pro and Lands End. At Acxiom he managed members of the pioneering SEO firm Marketleap and worked with clients such as Capital One, American General Finance and Kaiser Health. Joining SureFire in 2009, he is the head of Paid Search Advertising and oversees the delivery of AdWords and other PPC campaigns. He also helps clients make sense of their website data.