How Video Marketers Can Use Google's Brand Lift Surveys for Extra Juicy Data


Back in February 2013, Susan Wojcicki spoke about what the ad world would look like in the future. At the time, Wojcicki’s presentation flew under the radar because she was the SVP of Advertising at Google - she wasn’t named CEO of YouTube until February 2014. But now that she’s calling the shots at the video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California, it’s worth re-examining what she said in Phoenix as well as taking a closer look at a tool that she introduced at the event: Google Adwords Brand Lift surveys.

Brand Lift Surveys: Video Advertising Benefits

If you haven’t used them yet, Brand Lift surveys measure the actual impact of your campaign on brand awareness, ad recall and brand interest. Powered by Google Consumer Surveys, they provide market research quickly that’s remarkably accurate. This enables video advertisers to go beyond basic metrics like impressions and clicks. Here's an overview from Google itself:

Video advertisers can set up and administer these surveys from within Adwords without the need for any additional tagging, or cost. From within the Adwords dashboard, campaign managers can design a simple survey using a range of templated questions about brand visibility and awareness and ad recall. Once this step is completed, managers can launch their video campaigns. Users will be split into two groups. The first will be shown video ads from the advertiser’s campaign, followed by the survey. The second group will receive the same survey, but will not be shown any of the video ads.

Google’s Brand Lift solution will measure the aggregate increase in search volume on for your brand-related keywords among users who saw your ad versus users who did not see your ad. It compares the aggregate and the anonymous data both sets of respondents and supplies this information to Adwords managers within a week. Here’s a video that explains the methodology that Brand Lift surveys use to measure your marketing impact.

How Brands are Using Google Brand Lift Surveys

Back in February 2013, Wojcicki confirmed that video advertisers and marketers could use Brand Lift surveys to “measure things like the recall of a new product name, or the favorability of a particular brand“. Since then, a number of advertisers have used the surveys to measure the actual impact of their campaigns on ad recall, and brand awareness and interest. These include:

  • Mondelēz International: The food manufacturer behind brands such as Nabisco, Cadbury, and Oreo used Google’s Brand Life surveys to measure the launch of two new products on Brazil - Trident Unlimited and belVita. Using the feature to gain an insight into its advertising campaign, Mondelez was able to adjust it creative and also its ad targeting to reach an impressive 15% view-through rate.
  • Sunrun: The residential solar service ran a YouTube campaign to increase consumer awareness of its product and overall brand. Using Brand Lift Surveys, it was able to measure the results using real-time feedback. The company saw a 101% lift in ad recall vs. the control group.
  • eHealth: One of America's largest private online health insurance exchange used Brand Lift surveys to measure the impact of both its video and search display campaigns. After running a three-week campaign that featured over 500 of the brand's top-performing search keywords, eHealth saw a 45% increase in branded searches from consumers and viewers who were exposed to its advertising campaign.

How YouTube Sees the Future of Advertising

Next, let’s re-examine YouTube's vision of what the ad world will look like in the next few years. According to a post on Wojcicki’s Google+ page back on February 2013, the CEO shared some ideas about building an ads ecosystem for 2020, including:

  • Choice: Wojcicki said that our industry was moving rapidly to “a choice-based economy, where users choose, with one click, what they see – both ads and content.” She added, “In years to come, most ad views will effectively become voluntary.”
  • Control: In order to be relevant in this world, the SVP of Advertising at Google of all people said back then that our industry needed to keep investing in providing users with improved controls over the ads they watched, “so people can tell us what they do and don’t want to see.”
  • Calibration: Finally, Wojcicki said that “metrics help the whole ecosystem do better” – enabling advertisers to optimize performance by giving them a better understanding of “what is right for the user.” She concluded, “We need to measure all advertising, and that involves developing standards beyond the click.”

In other words, Wojcicki didn’t give a sales pitch even though the room was filled with advertisers. She painted a picture of what the industry would look like in the foreseeable future. And she also did more that gaze into Google’s crystal ball. She used the IAB event as an opportunity to introduce Brand Lift surveys.

So, if you haven’t used Brand Lift surveys yet, then check them out. Results are accurate, occur in real-time, and don’t cost anything extra. And if you have used Brand Lift surveys, let us know what you think about them in the comments section below.

  • Davie

    I tried to do this but Google said my account needed to spend at least $1,000 per day for 7 consecutive days before I would even be given access to these. ???