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Google showcases future of display

Google showcases future of display


Google has revealed plans for a different type of display ad based on a hover rather than a click called Lightbox. The search giant is also hoping to overhaul display metrics in Europe with the impending roll out of Active View and Active GRP to the continent.

The new display ads start as a 300x250 standard creative, but once a user hovers over one, it expands to a larger canvas. The idea behind the new format is to measure only real and actual engagement from users on websites.

Accidental hovers could be a cause for concern for both brands and consumers alike. However, Google has implemented a two second delay to ensure that all users have made a conscious decision to interact with the creative.

Accidental hovers unlikely

One upside to there being no false hovers means that users are both true and engaged. So much so that Google has found engagement rates are between six and eight times more than those normally associated with a similar-sized piece of creative.

The pricing model has been changed to reflect the new levels of engagement. Brands will now only pay on a cost per engagement basis, also known as cost per expansion. Google has said that it’s the first time the model has been used with this kind of scale and volume. One piece of CPE-based creative can be run on millions of websites.

Possible implementations of the format are limitless. Google has suggested the advert could open up into a live video stream or social game. Advertisers could even have the creative open into an entire product catalogue. Users could purchase items from inside the display ad.

Brand Activate hits Europe

Active View is to be rolled out in the UK and Germany, as if to complement Google’s new-fangled hover creative. The idea is for a view to be counted by Google if it is more than 50% viewable on a user’s screen for at least one second.

Active GRP is set to follow ActiveView and will possibly materialise on the UK’s shores halfway through next year. It’s considered to be an online equivalent of Gross Rating Point, the metric used in television to predict ad views. Google’s digital version of GRP calculates a campaign’s reach and frequency.

The two performance metrics, part of Brand Activate, have been available in the USA since earlier this year. They allow advertisers and publishers to optimise campaigns in real time using DoubleClick, which probably inspired the use of Active.

Google’s Vice President of Product Management, Neil Mohan believes it’s all about creating unity in the display space. “It’s taking what today, frankly speaking, is a scattered alphabet that exists in our industry and turning it into something that’s a much more usable language.”

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Simon Holland

Simon Holland

Simon is the news and research reporter at Existem. Previously a technology journalist, he now spends his time investigating both future and developing trends in performance marketing whilst producing editorial content for

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