YouTube launches Real-Time Ads for major live events, starting with Super Bowl 50

Advertisers can react to live events with ads on YouTube and Google's network, but space must be bought in advance

NEW YORK — YouTube is introducing a new product called Real-Time Ads that will allow advertisers to rapidly post short videos, banners or graphics in response to live action as it unfolds, The new product will be available in time for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7.

Though the creative for Real-Time Ads can be inserted on the fly, advertisers will have to reserve spots in advance. Brands can pre-plan ads on timing (such as halftime or the start of the game) and action (touchdown, interception or field goal, for example). The clip or graphic will then be inserted into YouTube, Google’s display ad network and various Google mobile apps.

Google tested the product with EA Sports during the NFL postseason, releasing animated gifs that referenced game play within moments of it happening on the field.

The Super Bowl will be the first of many live cultural events to feature Real-Time Ads, said Tara Walpert Levy, managing director, agency solutions at Google, at a press event on Wednesday. Comcast already purchased YouTube live ad space for this year’s Academy Awards, and more Real-Time Ads will be available during this year’s U.S. presidential elections and summer Olympics.

YouTube also announced that it has launched its annual AdBlitz channel, which hosts official Super Bowl ads that users can watch, vote on and share with friends, family and through social platforms. Wednesday’s launch of Adblitz — 18 days before the Super Bowl — has been the earliest the company set up the site, as Super Bowl ads are already available online.

The availability of Real-Time Ads and AdBlitz "are ways for marketers to connect on a deeper way as consumers are experiencing it," Levy said.


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