Google Debuts AI-powered Ads at Marketing Live

Google Debuts AI-Powered Ads at Marketing Live

Google unveils AI-powered ad experiences at Marketing Live: interactive search ads, brand profiles, and creative tools using generative AI.

Google introduced new creative tools and ad experiences at its annual Google Marketing Live event in New York. Here’s what marketers can expect to see at Google now or in the coming months.

Search ad experience. Among the most inventive improvements to search is a new ad experience currently in testing and slated to become more widely available later in the year. This experience helps guide users through complex purchase decisions based on additional information that the user volunteers. For instance, if the user is looking for a nearby storage facility, the engine can recommend a storage option with the right dimensions based on photos of the possessions that the user uploads.

To trigger this experience, a search result will provide a marked sponsored ad with a blue button that takes the user to a separate page where pictures or other information can be uploaded and recommendations can be made to the shopper.

Storage example for AI-powered search ads. Image: Google.
Storage example for AI-powered search ads. Image: Google.

Brand profiles. Google announced that new brand profiles were available on search. The profiles are built from information provided by merchants in the Google Merchant Center. The Business Profiles users inspired the profiles found in search and Google Maps.

According to the company, more than 40 percent of shopping queries in search mention a brand or a retailer.

New brand profiles in search. Image: Google.
New brand profiles in search. Image: Google.

Performance Max creative controls. Soon, advertisers can upload their brand guidelines, including font, colors and image reference points, to help automatically generate new asset variations that remain on-brand.

Advanced Gemini AI models were announced in February. Performance Max campaigns can be used across all of Google’s ad inventory.

Image editing. Retailers advertising through Google Merchant Center will have new tools for editing images. They will be able to experiment and add new objects to the ads and extend the background to fit all sizes and formats with the help of Google AI.

These features aim to help marketers add new products or improve existing creative by adding eye-catching backgrounds and other elements to these assets. The brand can use the new assets on all digital channels supporting the images, not just on Google.

Shopping Ad experiences. New immersive experiences will soon be available in shopping ads. These include 3D spinning ads and virtual try-ons. For instance, ads featuring shoes will support 360-degree rotation of the product. Virtual try-on will support apparel brands, where customers of all body types will be able to try on tops like shirts and sweaters virtually.

Additionally, later in the year, an even better user-driven experience will allow advertisers to include product videos, summaries and similar product recommendations within the ad format.

Some of these features were previously available in organic search but now appear in ads.

Ads in AI Overview. Image: Google.
Ads in AI Overview. Image: Google.

Ads in AI Overview. Google announced it will begin testing search and shopping ads in AI Overview.

Gemini-powered AI Overviews in the search were announced this month. The experiences are rolling out in the U.S. and will soon be available in other countries.

According to a blog post from Vidhya Srinivasan, vice president and general manager of ads, AI Overviews result in users visiting a broader mix of more diverse websites. Srinivasan stated that users are searching more now that AI Overviews are available and are more satisfied with the results.

Also Read: Google’s Privacy Sandbox Impact on Apps

Why we care. With these new tools and features, Google offers approaches to at least two major ways in which generative AI promises to reinvent our digital lives. First, genAI answers in AI Overview will change how users search for information. They’ll ask longer questions and have more of a two-way conversation as they try to get the answers they need. When appropriate, relevant ads (marked “sponsored”) will surface.

Secondly, genAI will help creatives scale content by generating new ad iterations that stick to the brand playbook. Those assets will appear at the touchpoint that makes the most sense to consumers, to improve ad campaign performance. GenAI will also make measurement more intuitive, allowing marketers to ask Google Analytics questions in natural language and gain the insights they need to improve their campaigns.