YouTube gets new AI-powered ads that let brands target special cultural moments | TechCrunch

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YouTube is putting Google AI to use for advertisers, the company announced this morning with the introduction of a new advertising package called “Spotlight Moments.” The idea here is to leverage AI to automatically identify the most popular YouTube videos related to a specific cultural moment — like Halloween, a major awards show, such as the Oscars, or a sporting event, for example. The advertiser would then be able to serve ads across video referencing the topic or event across a branded YouTube channel where videos are curated into dynamically updated playlists.

Marketing agency GroupM is already on board with the new AI-powered offering, becoming the first to offer its advertising clients access to Spotlight Moments.

Image Credits: YouTube

Though consumers may interact with Google’s various AI developments through products like its chatbot Bard or integrated AI search experience, SGE, AI is quietly powering a number of other consumer-facing products, including which ads they’re seeing, where and why. The Spotlight Moments product is only one of several AI-powered advances launched by YouTube, joining other AI campaigns like Video Reach and Video View campaigns, which also leverage Google AI.

The company says that advertisers using Video Reach Campaigns with in-stream, in-feed and YouTube Shorts saw their campaigns deliver 54% more reach at a lower 42% CPM compared with in-stream only. Video View campaigns, which launched last month, delivered 40% more views and a 30% lower cost-per-view than in-stream only during tests. Video Reach Campaigns will launch in November, meanwhile.

AI is not new to the world of advertising, where machine learning technology and algorithms have regularly been employed over the years to serve ads and target audiences. But Google has been looking towards a “new era” where generative AI advancements will help to transform how the company sells and places ads. In May, for instance, it introduced a new natural, language conversational experience in Google Ads that helps brands start their campaign creation to make using Search ads easier and allow them to ask AI for suggestions, the way you could ask a colleague.

It’s also using generative AI to automatically create assets for Search ads, which use content from the brand’s home page and their existing ads to craft new headlines and descriptions for their ads. In Performance Max AI campaigns, Google AI can learn about the brand from its website and then populate a campaign with text and relevant assets, including generated images. And it’s integrating ads into its Search Generative Experience, SGE, which offers a conversational way to query Google’s search engine.


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