Simplifying display advertising with Google Responsive Ads

David Rushton

Head of Digital

Posted on May 19, 2017

The use of ad networks (such as the Google Display Network) has become commonplace within financial marketing over the last few years. Marketers can easily locate websites that their audience visits, place ads on these websites and tightly control their budget. The Google Display Network makes this process simple.

The issue is creating all the different ad variations required. Websites use different ad sizes and visitors use different screen sizes. In addition, most successful campaigns would split test different ad variants to maximise conversions.

This means that even the smallest campaigns, can in fact require a lot of effort. Marketing and design time can easily be eaten up designing many ads.

Google Responsive Ads – a possible solution?

Responsive ads do exactly as their name suggests. One ad can be created using the Google online tool, and this ad will automatically scale to different ad spaces and screen sizes. Once the initial set of creative assets has been produced, Google takes care of the rest.

Campaigns can be created in a fraction of the time. Multiple ad variants can quickly be created and the time needed to manage campaigns is drastically reduced.

Is it too good to be true?

Whilst HTML5 responsive ads are most likely the future of internet advertising, the system does have its drawbacks. Most notably, we’re relying on Google to resize the ads on our behalf – and this is all done by an algorithm. There are no human checks involved, so sometimes the ads can come out looking a little strange.

Secondly, although the design tool provided by Google produces good quality ads, they are not great quality ads. If you’re looking for a more ‘up market’ ad, this is going to be difficult with Google Responsive Ads (for the moment).

Are they worth using?

If you are looking to quickly develop and launch a campaign, then they are most definitely worth using. The time savings are substantial and your creative team won’t get bogged down creating numerous ad variations. The main thing to remember is that the ads still need checking – so some manual time is still required.

However, as more marketers start to use the platform, we run the risk of ads all starting to look the same. So if you’re looking to develop a ‘stand out’ or ‘up market’ campaign, then we’d suggest doing it the old fashioned way.