Google introduced a new "Lightbox" ad format today. This, the company says, is the first of a new family of display ads it's working on. This family will let advertisers pay only when the user engages with the ad.
Interestingly enough, Facebook is saying, “It is the delivery of the marketing message to the right consumer, not the click, that creates real value for brand advertisers.”
Here's what the Lightbox format looks like:
"The lightbox starts as a standard display ad, making it scalable, but after a two-second hover, expands to a super-sized canvas," explains Jim Lecinski, Vice President, Brand Solutions at Google. "In internal tests, we’ve seen that this smart hover feature eliminates nearly 100% of accidental expansions and increases engagement by 6-8X over standard click-to-expand ads. The result: users only engage with the ads they really want to see and brand marketers only pay for truly engaged views."
Google says it also has new insights into how its existing engagement-based formats on YouTube and the Google Display Network have been helping brands.
"We looked at the sales impact during and two weeks after 92 different ad campaigns, and found that on average every $1 invested in YouTube delivered a $1.70 return in sales--2.4x more efficient than the television spend for these campaigns," says Lecinski. "These ads also help achieve branding goals: we found, on average, that ads on YouTube and the Google Display Network drive a 36% increase in visits to your website and a 36% increase in searches for your brand online (Google Internal Data, 2012)."
Google also announced that it has a new physical place, called the Google BrandLab, where Google can collaborate with brands and agencies. It's located at the YouTube headquarters.