Google dropped a bombshell at the recent Ad Age Digital Conference. It was at the annual event in New York that the company announced the Brand Activate Initiative, a new program designed to help brands better measure their success online. The initiative is quite extensive, so without further ado, here are the juicy details marketers need to know.
With Brand Activate, Google is introducing two new advertising tools. The first one is Active View. According to the search giant, this new metric measures the amount of time an ad stays on the user’s screen and the amount of time it was viewed. So if it is determined that at least 50% could be viewed for at least one second, then the system counts that as an impression – marketers only have to pay for viewed impressions.
Google is trying to make Active View a standard in the online advertising game by submitting it to the Media Rating Council (MRC) for accreditation. This metric will soon be available to marketers using its Google Display Network Reserve.
Active GRP is perhaps the most interesting component of the new Google Brand Activate Initiative. Short for gross rating point, GRP is a metric brands have been using offline for years. In the initial announcement, Google explained how a fashion brand may use this measurement to determine how effective a TV ad was at reaching their target audience.
How does this translate to the world of online advertising? Well, Google says Active GRP will give marketers the ability to improve their advertising campaigns in real-time by measuring them based on a combination of aggregated panel data and anonymous data from the user, which can be inferred or provided by the user themselves.
Google believes that Active GRP will not only benefit marketers, but users as well. From its point of view, the advantage for brands is no longer having to rely on a single source of data. Users benefit from never having to share personally identifiable data or information with third party sources. They also have the ability to opt-out via the company’ Ads Preferences Manager. The Active GRP metric will work in tandem with Active View and also be submitted to the MRC for accreditation.
Response to Brand Activate
The Google Brand Activate Initiative certainly sounds promising for marketers who are currently, or considering using the company’s advertising platforms to reach their target audience online. With that said, the response to the new initiative has been a mixed bag of sorts. There has been much discussion in the blogosphere regarding whether Google is really out to help marketers, or just pad its pockets and drive more brands away from traditional advertising channels. It could very well be a combination of both.
Regardless of the reactions, Google says that we are only witnessing the beginning of Brand Activate. Advertisers and publishers should expect to hear about more developments in the very near future.