A stunt-driving prank watched by 33 million on YouTube last month shows how online ad-viewing is an increasingly voluntary experience, according to Susan Wojcicki, a senior VP at Google, and how marketers are more dedicated to producing content people want to see.
The stunt-driving video Wojicki cited, in which disguised racing star Jeff Gordon takes a car salesman for a harrowing ride, was produced for Pepsi and has earned the company a ton of free online attention. (The clip is entertaining but also fake, fake, fake).
“We’re moving to a model where the user is choosing to see the ads,” said Wojicki on Tuesday at Ad Tech, an industry conference in San Francisco. She added that tools like YouTube’s TrueView, in which marketers pay only if someone watches their video, are compelling to both advertisers and viewers.
According to Wojcicki, 70 percent of the ads in YouTube videos are now the TrueView type.
This vision of an online ad economy defined by user actions (such as clicks) is consistent with AdWords, Google’s lucrative search ad product that prices ads according to their relevance.
But while the TrueView experience bodes well for Google’s success in video advertising, the company’s prospects for mobile and social advertising are less rosy. So far, newer companies like Twitter and Facebook are dominating the space.
Wojcicki said that, for mobile, “a lot stuff doesn’t exist yet” and that there is a need to create more location based “block we’re on” ad experiences.
“The users first adopt (a technology), then advertisers figure it out.”
On the social media front, Neal Mohan, Google’s $100 million ad VP, noted that “social is an important part of all ads,” and pointed to recent initiatives like Google+ pages for brands and a tool that lets advertisers connect Google+ to their AdWords account.