Digital Down Low: AUGUST 6 – AUGUST 12
Google Rolls Out New AdWords Interface
- According to Search Engine Land, Google announced a sweeping change to the interface of AdWords, a product that hadn’t had a significant facelift in quite some time. On August 9th, a few AdWords users were surprised to see the new UI showing when they hopped into their accounts. Google has now confirmed that the interface is rolling out to more AdWords users.
- Google stated, “Through 2016 and into 2017, we’ll continue to build out this new AdWords experience, and invite advertisers along the way to try it out and provide feedback. Invites will be sent based on a number of factors, therefore not all advertisers will be able to test the new experience right away”.
- It should be noted that this move is purely an interface design change — it will not change the core functionality of AdWords. In fact, in a phone interview with Search Engine Land back in March, Paul Feng, AdWords product management director, had stated that the change will help advertisers reach across the spectrum of search, display, shopping, mobile and video.
The Growing Pains Of Instagram’s Direct-Response Ads
- According to Marketing Land, Instagram’s direct-response advertising business was born a year ago with a silver spoon in its mouth. Its parent company, Facebook, had spent years developing ad formats, honing targeting capabilities and building measurement systems and attracting marketers that didn’t want people to only see their ads but to act on them, to click on them and install an app, visit a product site, buy something. Conceivably Instagram could have inherited that business and its customers and called it a day, like a restaurateur’s heir opening a cafe next door. But it’s not that easy, and in Instagram’s case, it hasn’t been.
- Instagram’s ad business has not yet totally clicked with direct-response advertisers, based on interviews with several agency execs. There are natural growing pains, like convincing marketers who are very comfortable spending their money on Google’s search ads and Facebook’s ads to try something new. Then there are the perception problems spurred by the look-heavy, link-light app catering to brand advertisers since debuting its first ads in October 2013. And the need to bridge the mobile gap for an advertiser segment still accustomed to a desktop world. And finally the looming shadow of Facebook’s dominant direct-response business.
- It’s way too early to count Instagram out. Advertisers certainly aren’t. Nanigans, an automated ad-buying firm that services primarily direct-response advertisers, has seen the share of its clients that have bought Instagram’s direct-response ads increase from 31% in October 2015 to 54% in April 2016. But most direct-response advertisers still appear to be probing Instagram to learn if it can prove itself. In one way — which may echo Facebook’s history — it has.
Canadian Olympic Sponsors Spend Big On Digital
- According to DigiDay, as an official sponsor for the Canadian Olympic Team, Sport Chek – Canada’s largest sportswear and sports equipment retailer – is one of the few that is not spending big on TV. The brand allocates 80 percent of its Rio Olympics ad budget to digital, with 60 percent devoted to mobile. This is a big shift even from Sport Chek’s marketing strategy during the Sochi Winter Games in 2014, where it ran seven different TV commercials and spent a mere 40 percent of its budget on digital.
- “We’ve learned from London and Sochi that big sporting events are becoming very noisy from an advertising perspective, filled with TV commercials from sponsors,” said Frederick LeCoq, svp of marketing and e-commerce for Sport Chek. “At the end of the day, consumers could feel sick of tired of those ads. Olympic Games have become social games. Advertisers need to create more buzz that is relevant to their brand rather than create noises that are not relevant at all”.
- But Sport Chek’s big focus on digital doesn’t mean that the brand has zero TV presence. Under its agreement with CBC, the retailer can run CBC-produced videos in the form of sponsored content to highlight the best Canadian stories from the game. Those clips are not aired during commercial breaks, but they are integrated into the network’s broadcast programs at least once a day.