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The mobile features in DoubleClick for Advertisers (DFA) make it easy to traffic mobile ads alongside the rest of your online ads. Our mobile tags help you track mobile metrics and reach a wide range of phones. To make DFA even more useful to mobile advertising, we’ve added click-to-call support. You can now use the click-to-call option for:

  • Standard ads
  • Mobile display ads
  • Click tracker ads (static and dynamic) on standard placements
  • Click tracker ads (static and dynamic) on mobile placements

What are click-to-call ads?
Click-to-call ads redirect users to a telephone number instead of a landing page. When users click the ad, their mobile devices load the number.

Calling your number should be as easy visiting your landing page. That’s why click-to-call takes dialing out of the equation: it means one less step between seeing your ad and making the call.

To learn more about using the click-to-call option, see Serve mobile ads and creatives to mobile inventory in the DFA mobile guide (sign-in required).

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Learning from the past

In the 1950s, brands slowly moved to TV, just as they have started to move online today. In both instances, buying and selling systems improved; audiences and new content quickly moved to the new medium; and the creative possibilities inspired great ad campaigns.

However, a key moment for TV came in the 1950 with dramatic improvements in measurement—like ratings and quantitative market research. Once major brands could see who they were reaching and what impact their campaigns were having, they fully embraced the medium, creating a multi-billion dollar industry...and TV’s golden age began.

Making better decisions with actionable brand metrics

Unlike the early days of TV, digital advertising is already incredibly measurable. The only problem is a very old and well-known one: the standardized metrics today are largely clicks, user interaction rates and conversions.

But as brand advertisers - such as movie studios or consumer goods companies - know, it’s a challenge to measure changes in brand favorability of a movie or whether an online campaign is driving more consumers to the store. And it’s even harder to take quick action on any such insights.

That's why today, at the Ad Age Digital Conference I'll be introducing the Brand Activate Initiative, an ongoing Google effort to address these challenges and re-imagine online measurement for brand marketers. With this effort, we're partnering with the cross-industry Making Measurement Make Sense (3MS) initiative. We believe that the industry’s significant investment in brand measurement efforts can substantially grow the online advertising pie, for all.

Is a particular ad in your campaign especially useful at improving brand recall in Illinois? You should be able to immediately increase your coverage throughout the Midwest. Is one ad slightly less effective at driving purchase intent and in-store sales? Tweak the creative, straight away.

The first Brand Activate solutions

We’re working to build truly useful brand metrics into the tools that advertisers already use to manage their campaigns, so they’ll be actionable within seconds, not months.

Here’s a video describing the Brand Activate Initiative:

The first two Brand Activate solutions are rolling out today:

Active View: Advertisers have long looked for insight into whether consumers saw an ad on page 145 of a magazine, or switched the channel during a TV commercial break. It’s similar online, so we’re rolling out a technology, which will be submitted for Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation, that can count “viewed” impressions (as defined by the 3MS’s proposed standard, this is a display ad that is at least 50% viewable on the screen for at least one second).

Called Active View, this will first be available in coming weeks within Google Display Network Reserve. We’ll also be making this metric a universal currency, ultimately offering it within DoubleClick for Advertisers, as well as to our publisher partners. Active View data will be immediately actionable—advertisers will be able to pay only for viewed impressions. Going forward, we’re working on viewed impression standards with the 3MS, and our agency and publisher partners.

Active GRP: GRP, or a gross rating point, is at the heart of offline media measurement. For example, when a fashion brand wants their TV campaign to reach 2 million women with two ads each, they use GRP to measure that. We’re introducing a new version of this for the web: Active GRP. Active GRP has two key features:

  • Built-in: Active GRP is built right into the ad serving tools that our publishers and marketers already use every day. Active GRP will enable real-time decision making, allowing advertisers to make adjustments to their campaigns at the speed of the web. We’ve kicked off a pilot program for DoubleClick for Advertisers clients as a first step, and will roll it out to other products, with brands able to specify a range of audience GRP segments.
  • Robust methodology: Active GRP is calculated by a statistical model that combines aggregated panel data and anonymous user data (either inferred or user-provided), and will work in conjunction with Active View to measure viewed impressions. This approach overcomes problems of potential panel skewing and reliance on a single data source. This approach also has the advantage of never using personally identifiable information, not sharing user data with third parties, and enabling users, through Google’s Ads Preferences Manager, to opt-out. We will be submitting our methodology for MRC accreditation.

More to come

We look forward to bringing other measurement initiatives into our suite for brand marketers, including a brand impact survey pilot with Vizu, our brand lift measurement product (Campaign Insights) and various cross-media measurement research projects globally.

This is just the beginning of the Brand Activate Initiative, with much more to come for brands and publishers. We think that with brand new metrics comes a new brand moment - one that will encourage brands to invest in the web, help publishers show the value of their digital content, and stimulate digital media’s own golden age.

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[Cross-posted from the DoubleClick Publisher blog]

Like many New Yorkers, I can’t imagine life in this city without the subway - it’s essential to how the city operates, creates millions in economic value, and even features great mariachi bands. But the subway wasn’t always this efficient. In the early 1900s, there were multiple subway systems, with different size train cars, running on different track configurations - even one propelled by air! Today, after the unification of these subway systems, everything works seamlessly together.

So what does the subway system have to do with video advertising? Well, the two dominant video advertising guidelines -- VAST and VPAID -- are like the unified transportation system for video advertising. VAST and VPAID define a common language that unifies the diversity of the video advertising industry: Flash and HTML video players, ad networks and exchanges, mobile devices and connected TVs, 30 second spots and interactive overlays.

At Google, we’ve been longtime supporters of video advertising standards. We’re happy to announce our support for the latest set of guidelines announced at the IAB’s Digital Video Marketplace Event today. This means that we’ll be implementing VAST 3.0, VPAID 2.0 and VMAP 1.0 across our video advertising products. Together, these three guidelines strengthen the video advertising infrastructure already adopted by most participants in the video ecosystem. The Video Suite also adds support for skippable ads, podding, in-ads privacy notices and ad sequencing, while offering greater clarity around compliance and mobile scenarios.

What benefits can you expect from VAST 3.0, VPAID 2.0 and VMAP 1.0?

  • If you’re a publisher, interoperability will improve and you’ll be able to accept a wider set of video ad formats with less technical work. The new error codes will also help with troubleshooting of third party served ads.
  • If you’re an advertiser, the Video Suite allows you to create more engaging brand stories that reach a wider audience across all devices. You’ll be able to take greater advantage of skippable ads, which offer new pricing models focused on performance.
  • If you’re a vendor, the technical details of these specs really matter, and we’ve provided much more clarity around the compliance requirements for video players and ad servers.

So much has changed in the online video space in just ten years, that we thought we’d take a trip down memory line with this infographic:

As an industry, we’ve started to take VAST and VPAID for granted, much like New Yorkers and their subway system. That’s a good thing, because it means they’ve become an essential part of powering our economy.

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Join us for a webinar series beginning this month that will focus on offering tips and tools for everything from Creatives to Floodlight. Visit the DFA Help Center to register for any webinars as well as our classroom offerings.

Classroom Training

DFA Fundamentals: This full-day course (10am-5pm) is for new DFA users looking to understand the fundamentals of third-party ad serving including best practices for campaign trafficking, serving your ads and pulling reports.

  • Minneapolis - April 12
  • San Francisco - April 19
  • Los Angeles - April 24

DFA Trafficking Lab: Get more practice trafficking campaigns. These sessions cover the basics such as assigning landing pages to creatives, updating campaigns, setting up geo-targeting and using creative rotation.

Class Prerequisite:Attendees should have taken the DFA Fundamentals class in the previous two months or have less than two months trafficking experience.

  • New York - April 12
  • Minneapolis - April 13
  • Chicago - April 19
  • San Francisco - April 20
  • Los Angeles - April 25

MediaVisor: Learn more about planning and creating campaigns, advertisers, site placements and IOs as well as how to send RFPs.

  • Minneapolis - April 13
  • San Francisco - April 20

Webinar Training

Shortcuts, solutions, and tricks of the trade will all save you time and energy. This webinar series will serve as a media planning and trafficking toolbox.

Tips and Tools: Placements and Media Cost - April 10
Tips and Tools: Flash and Standard Creatives - April 17
Tips and Tools: Ad Tags and Live Implementation - April 24
Tips and Tools: Floodlight Tags and Implementation - May 1
Tips and Tools: Reporting Questions and Discrepancies - May 8

DFA for New Users - April 11 and April 25
An introduction to the fundamentals of DFA.

MediaVisor Fundamentals - April 17
Learn the Fundamentals of MediaVisor.

Be sure to check back with us on this blog for next month's training schedule. We look forward to seeing you in class.

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DoubleClick for Advertisers users rely on the Help Center to help answer questions, address issues and learn more about new features.

Because it’s such a valuable useful resource, we’ve recently made some improvements to the layout and design of the Help Center to better organize the content and make it more searchable. It is now easier than ever to get answers to your questions. New sections in the Help Center are useful for discovering content around a specific topic:

  • Get Started for useful information if you’re new to DFA.
  • How-To for figuring out how to perform a specific task.
  • Fix a Problem for addressing issues.

If you have a specific topic in mind, you can use the search window to navigate to relevant articles. For example, let’s say you need to figure out how to add a third-party pixel to your ad; simply search for “Add Pixel” to find your answer.

During the next few months we’ll continue adding and improving content to make the DFA Help Center even more easy, reliable, and useful for you.