After last year’s announcements of integrating “AI (Artificial Intelligence)” into Google ads, it came as no surprise that Google Marketing Live 2024 was building upon this, taking the next steps to maximise the potential of the tool through some impressive innovations. This year highlights the new era of AI, new product launches, and strategic growth opportunities. We will explore some of the key features that were announced at the event and ones that we here at BIG were really excited to hear about.

AI Powered Shopping Ads

Users are starting to search in new ways, from asking more complicated questions through images and more. However, more avenues of search correlates to more opportunities to advertisers. Google is starting to test search and shopping ads in AI overviews. This allows advertisers to integrate short-form product videos, and virtual trying on with viewers now able to see how items fit by selecting different body types as well as 3D spinning. This allows shoppers to engage with products in a brand-new way before committing to purchases, the idea is to help sway them to click on ads and increase confidence. Even with strong creative assets, shoppers are always weary of making financial decisions without the physical product in hand. Enabling consumers to gauge a better understanding of the products in a virtual environment will help increase online sales.


This year will see additional changes being made to Performance Max (Pmax), with Google pushing the campaign type to advertisers to help optimise their campaign performance. Despite some advertiser’s concerns with Pmax, the campaign did see a multitude of changes with new AI-powered tools helping advertisers speed up the creation of high-quality assets across multiple channels by 5x.
Additionally, slightly more control is returning to advertisers to help maintain brand image. This comes in the form of guardrails such as the introduction of fonts, colours, and imagery to campaign creation. Google is starting to understand the importance of simultaneously having performance increases in campaigns whilst maintaining brand image within campaigns. Therefore, the introduction of these guardrails and editing capabilities will help rectify this issue.

Furthermore, Pmax is seeing more reporting and bidding optimisation options. For reporting, Pmax will now allow users to conduct placement reporting and exclusions for YouTube to help allow advertisers to ensure ads are being seen within more relevant videos. Additionally, asset-level reporting is being introduced. This allows for a breakdown of conversion performance on individual assets, allowing advertisers to gain an understanding of which forms of creative are working best for their ads. This is an interesting feature that will help to spark additional testing within Pmax campaigns, with advertisers having the confidence that comparing different assets will yield fruitful data that can be used within future campaigns by helping to understand what creatives help to reach intended goals.

Moreover, Smart Bidding will also see the introduction of profit maximisation. This will allow for campaigns to optimise profits within Pmax campaigns. This is achieved by using data from cart-level conversions against the cost of goods being sold in the Merchant centre, with Google reporting that profit maximisation has seen a 15% increase in profits for advertisers. The introduction of a new smart bidding features offers an opportunity for advertisers to run simultaneous campaigns against each other to help understand the impact that this is having on their performance and meeting specific goals. The introduction of profit maximisation could be particularly useful for campaigns where KPIs are focusing on ROI (Return on Investment).

The” Power Pair”

“Complimentary” was the word of the day, coming up a multitude of times when being asked what type of campaign should be running within certain scenarios such as Search, Demand Gen, etc. The compliment? Performance Max… The complementary mixture of campaigns alongside the use of performance was branded as the “power pair” helping to increase conversions, with the recent changes made to Pmax, this is an understandable statement from Google.
However, with changes to search and Pmax, this also saw changes to demand gen. AI-powered video campaigns are set to revolutionise YouTube advertising, with new features like stickers on YouTube Shorts and animated image ads, along with creator partnership ads, offering fresh, engaging ways to reach audiences. With these additions in demand gen video helping to reach 3 billion users across YouTube and Gmail.

While Pmax still has it doubts, from advertisers seeing less control over their campaigns and putting large amounts of trust into AI, Google remained adamant to continue running Pmax alongside other campaigns to see maximum results. An interesting statement, despite the question of running both campaigns simultaneously cannibalising each other. A question that was quickly shot down, stating the advertisers pushing Pmax are seeing a 27% increase in conversions with similar costs. Google is clearly pushing Pmax even more and wants advertisers to become more comfortable with the campaign type.

Preparing for a Cookie-less World

Something that had our close ear was the changes being made to first-party data with cookies slowly being phased out from Google, with Chrome seeing a 100% phase-out by early 2025. The first change made by Google was the availability of its data manager tool to all advertisers. This allows for a centralised hub for all first-party data (conversions, emails, surveys, etc.) into a single analytics hub. Data privacy remains a top priority for Google, and this helps to ensure transparency and control over data usage whilst simultaneously simplifying reporting and making advertisers’ life easier. As the industry moves towards a cookie-less era, Google is helping advertisers transition by emphasizing first-party data collection and AI-powered measurement solutions with the centralised hub being a stepping stone. Google stated that in the cookie-less era, advertisers will need to embrace AI as this will be crucial for powering personalised campaigns. The process since the cookies phase-out was announced has created concerns. However, this is hopefully a step in easing concerns.

Google sees the “new era of AI” helping advertisers to supercharge the entire advertising cycle, with many updates being announced influencing how advertisers work. It is exciting to see the opportunities arise soon. With many of these updates being rolled around Q3 or being trialled in different countries before the rollout into the UK, this offers opportunities for us to gain an understanding of how best to integrate and embrace these changes into how we work and help to deliver even stronger results that our clients can be proud of.

To find out more about these changes or get in contact about anything paid media related, be sure to contact the team at [email protected].

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