Google predicts that online display advertising will be smarter and sexier by 2015

Google Display Presentation at Advertising WeekBarry Salzman, Google’s Managing Director, Media and Platforms, Americas educated the Toronto Advertising Week crowd today on the topic of “The Future of Display Ads: 7 Predictions for 2015.” The event was streamed live via websites like and so that all Canadians could access the presentation.

In case you missed the presentation online, below is a summary of Google’s predictions and how they will leverage their real-time, video, mobile and social media technologies to impact the display advertising market and make it smarter and sexier by 2015:

1. 50% of online video ads will be bought on a cost-per-view basis. Salzman told the audience that “display advertising is on the cusp of the biggest revolution in history.” He explained that the “incredible rate of technological innovation is helping Google to make smarter decisions” about developing new display advertising advancements. Salzman said that Google has seen a demand in the market for ad formats that give both advertisers and users more choice and control over the ads displayed online.

Francisco Rivas from Google Canada demonstrated the new YouTube TrueView video ad formats that just recently launched in Canada. The basic premise of this ad format is that an advertiser only pays when user chooses to watch the ad vs. skipping over it online.  Ads are randomly selected to be displayed to a user based on what YouTube learns about the users’ interests over time. Therefore, the ads will also be more relevant to both the user and the advertiser.

2. 50% of display advertising in 2015 will rely on real-time bidding and creative customization. Google recently acquired Teracent which is a technology that utilizes algorithms to dynamically optimize creative elements in a display ad. Rohit Verma from Google Canada demonstrated how their technology works. Basically, when a rich media display ad is served, the tone of the message, image and any other element that you will see in the ad are all pulled in based on various cues such as your interest in a particular product, the content on the website you are visiting, the time of day, where you are located and even the weather. There are millions of possible permutations based on what the advertiser wants to display to the consumer.

3. Google is putting mobile first as they believe it will be the number one screen where people access the Internet. Salzman quoted Mary Meeker in saying that “mobile Internet users will overtake PC Internet users by 2014.” Google predicts that by 2015, the mobile device will be the first experience where most consumers will engage with a brand online.  Since Google’s Android mobile device is gaining on the iPhone in terms of market share, it’s no surprise that Google would want to dominate both the device and the ads that run in the mobile space.

Deepak Anand from Google Canada demonstrated how Google Goggles on your mobile phone can be applied to the print advertising world. He said that there is no need for QR codes when using Google Goggles. You can take a photo of a print ad with your mobile phone and if the print ad has a badge that identifies it as Google Goggles friendly, the application will display information about the ad on your phone using Google Search technology. Anand showed another example where you would be able to look at a print ad through your Google Goggles on your phone and interact with a 3D model of say an automobile in that ad via augmented reality technology. 

4. By 2015, five display advertising metrics will become more important than the click as a measurement tactic. Even today, some advertisers often fall back on clicks to measure success. Salzman said that display measurement is evolving quickly. Google wants to make display advertising measurement smarter and sexier in the future. Some new measurement methods already exist including engagement and interaction rates with rich media, video views, and the measured impact on Web search behaviour after exposure to display ads.

Salzman pointed out that future display advertising measurement strategies could include new tactics such as sentiment analysis. Salzman said that better metrics will enable web publishers to make adjustments to advertising rates based on the value that they are able to provide to the advertiser.

5. 75% of display ads will be social in nature. Salzman argued that it’s wrong to go to just one website to manage your brand’s social media presence – I think we all know who he was talking about. By 2015, Google predicts that all users will be able to share, comment and provide feedback on any ad, anywhere on the Internet. Google believes that this will allow display advertising to live up to the promise of being an always-on, two-way communication channel between the brand and consumers. Salzman also predicts that by 2015, no one will be talking about “social media advertising” – it will just be considered advertising in general. 

6. Rich Media will be incorporated into 50% of display ad campaigns. When I first heard this prediction, I thought that it seemed to be a bit of a bold statement since Salzman said that just 6% of ads in the past year were rich media enabled. I asked Salzman how he thinks we can get to that 50% number and he said that the key would be to demonstrate “better ROI for rich media ads and to develop technologies that make the rich media ad unit buying and implementation experience easier and more scalable.” Salzman pointed out that the benefit of rich media ads is that you can do almost anything within a rich media ad unit that you can do on a website. 

To demonstrate what’s in store for the future of rich media ads, Google live-streamed their presentation into display ads across Canada. Google also integrated real-time tweeting into the rich media live-stream ad to create a rich user experience.  Salzman said that it is technologies like the ones that they demonstrated that will help drive the overall display ecosystem and help publishers to maximize their display revenue.

7. The display advertising industry will be a $50 Billion Market by 2015. Apparently, Google advertisers increased the amount they spent by 75% last year with the technology company. Salzman expects that the Canadian market will make up for roughly $2 Billion of that $50 Billion number in 2015.

In closing, Salzman said that Google is “unapologetically enthusiastic” about the future of the display advertising space. Will all of these predictions come true? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.