YouTube tells ad industry it generates nearly double searches per impression than TV

The claim comes amid new product announcements at New York's Advertising Week

YouTube generates almost twice as many searches per impression for brands than television, according to parent company Google, which is unveiling updates to its advertising platforms at New York's Advertising Week.

Brad Bender, Google’s vice president of display and video advertising, has announced an extension in the capabilities of its Brand Lift products to show marketers how TV ads increase Google and YouTube searches for their brand compared to YouTube campaigns by nearly twice as much. 

The company is also introducing location extensions and store visit measurement for the Google Display Network, to help marketers close the loop between online ads and offline sales. 

As consumers browse their favorite websites or interact with their favorite apps, brands would be able to reach them with ads that show your business address, Google Maps directions and photos.

Google’s research suggests there is now a real connection between online ads and visits to physical stores. YouTube’s research said 30% of smartphone users who visit a website or app on their phone buy something in a store within 24 hours.

The research has drawn praise from Paige Parrent, Volkswagen’s digital media manager, who said: "We are excited to see the work Google is doing to better understand the impact of video. Volkswagen has an interest in moving closer to measuring TV and digital platforms (like YouTube) on even ground, and we’re looking forward to Brand Lift presenting us with a way to specifically, credibly, and scientifically compare the effectiveness of cross media campaigns."

Google is also introducing cross-device remarketing for Google Display Network and DoubleClick Bid Manager to help brands reach the same user across devices, apps and sites, allowing advertisers to tell a single story to its audience and decide how frequently they see an ad across devices. 

Bender explained: "Let’s say you’re a retailer and want to build a customized Halloween campaign. With cross-device remarketing, you can reach your customers with an 'It’s almost Halloween' ad on their phone during the morning commute. Later in the day, you can follow up with a limited time offer on decorations and recipes when they’re browsing a tablet at home."

These changes will be rolling out over the course of the next few months, Bender said.

Matt Hill, Thinkbox’s research and planning director, said people need to remain "sceptical" over Google’s analysis, which were not carried out by an independent third party.

He said: "We tend to find that Google's attribution systems over-credit the last click.  Advertisers need to understand what all the media exposures were that contributed to that final click to search – not just TV – and they need to do their own less short-term analyses.

"Also, looking at online search volume per impression is quite a crude measure. What really matters is the ability of a campaign to drive a high volume of profit and build the brand in the long term, which is where TV excels. Group M’s huge econometric study of advertising response showed that TV creates the highest volume of cost-efficient response and generates more media-driven sales than any other channel – especially over the long term."

This article first appeared on

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