Google Sets Out to Bridge TV and Digital with New DBM Tools

Google last night announced two new tools for its DoubleClick Bid Manager to help advertisers coordinate their TV and digital campaigns, which it says will enable them to reach TV audiences both over TV and over their digital devices. The first tool will use real-world triggers to coordinate campaigns across TV and digital devices, and the second tool will integrate TV measurement directly into the DoubleClick Bid Manager interface. The tools appear to not really enable cross-screen targeting, but rather are away to try to make TV and digital campaigns more coordinated.

‘Real-Time Triggers’ is a tool to enable advertisers to coordinate delivery of ads on digital devices with what audiences are seeing on TV. Brands and advertisers set triggers in Bid Manager, after which a preset ad will start serving on digital platforms. Google has access to live TV data, as well as real-time weather parameters, to be able to identify when these triggers occur.

Google sees the tool being used for significant televised cultural events, particularly live sports, using this Sunday’s Super Bowl as an example. The company says research it conducted alongside Ipsos found that 80 percent of sports viewers use a computer or smartphone while watching live sports on TV to look up stats and related messages and to message other fans, and so frames the new feature as a way to reach these sports fans both via the TV and their other devices.

Google claims the new capability works almost instantaneously, and that ads can be served a few seconds after the trigger occurs, giving an example that a brand could set a digital video campaign to activate straight after their TV ad plays in a sports event commercial.

There was no mention in the announcement of Real-Time Triggers having any way to identify which digital devices are being used by people who are actually watching the live event. This might not be such a problem when a significant percent of the population is tuned in to the same programme, but would presumably make the feature less useful for smaller TV events.

The second tool announced yesterday is the ‘TV Ad Explorer’, which integrates TV measurement into the DoubleClick Bid Manager. Google says this will help advertisers understand how their TV dollars are working to reach audiences, and therefore plan their digital campaigns to coordinate with this.

The tool will apparently work regardless of whether the TV ad was bought through Bid Manager or not, as Google says it collects ad airings data from “standard broadcast sources and partners,” in what it claims will be a privacy-safe way. TV Ad Explorer will give data on a TV campaigns reach by daypart, demographics, genres, networks and shows, but will also include digital metrics like search lift, which measures increase in online searches after a TV campaign airs.

The two features are still currently in beta, but Google hinted at further developments of cross-screen tools in the future. “We plan to enable media planning across TV and digital, so advertisers can leverage insights from their TV campaigns to optimize their digital media plans,” said Google’s product manager Jean-Claude Homawoo. “For example, advertisers will be able to use TV Ad Explorer to project if and how digital media placements can provide incremental reach or more cost-efficient reach to augment TV.”

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