Redefining the Marketing Industry's Most Important Metric

When a "View" Isn't a View

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In Today’s Issue:

🤖 Everything you need to know about Google Ads’ “Automatically Created Assets” [Premium Exclusive]

📱 TikTok, Snap, and other apps are advocating for new mobile measurement standards.

🚫 85% of consumers are not interested in using your AI for purchase decisions.

🤝 An agency strategist details the challenging relationship between agencies and X (formerly Twitter), citing concerns over brand safety.

📸 Snapchat+ introduces a paid Ad-Free Plan, eliminating Story and Lens ads.

🚨 A bizarre sale forces Douyin to ban sales that showcase products with minimal information.

Everything You Need to Know About “Automatically Created Assets”

Every other week, exclusively here in the Premium Newsletter (and Premium Podcast), our Google ads correspondent Jyll Saskin Gales walks us through the latest platform changes.

Jyll runs the Inside Google Ads training program (affiliate link).

🔐 This column is a Premium Exclusive. Upgrade today!

Seeking a More Relevant “View” Metric

“What do we want?”
“Better measurement standards!”

“When do we want it?”
“Hopefully by like maybe around Q3 of next year, if that’s okay.”

Alright, it might not make the most compelling protest chant, but that’s essentially what a group of platforms are calling for: better measurement standards for ads that run within mobile apps.

The coalition is made up of analytics company AppsFlyer, along with TikTok, Snapchat, and the gaming development platform Unity.

They want a more accurate way to measure how long ads are viewed within mobile apps. They also want a way to determine if ads are viewed for a longer period of time than what’s required to be considered a “view” on different platforms.

Much of this data was lost after Apple introduced more rigorous privacy controls in its smartphone operating system a couple of years ago.

The proposed new metrics include an “engaged view,” when someone watches a skippable video for a minimum amount of time, or a video is completed in less than a determined number of seconds.

The second metric is called an “engaged click,” when a user engages with an ad and isn’t redirected to an app store or another app. An example could be an ad for a game demo…

We reported Monday that TikTok is rolling out something it calls the “Engaged View-through Attribution” which measures the conversions that take place after a user views an ad for six seconds or more but doesn't click, then goes on to convert within the attribution window (maximum seven days).

Snapchat has a similar model, but considers a “view” happens at the two-second mark.

Instead of forcing partners to agree to a minimum standard, the hope is that the engagement-based metrics will help offer more transparency to the ecosystem…

Some of the details of the new standards, including the minimum amount of time for some videos to be viewed before being considered “engaged views,” will be determined in early 2024.

Consumers Just Don’t Care About Your Fancy AI

What if it was all for nothing?

What if all this talk about how consumers are excited to use artificial intelligence to help them shop, or to find different clothes to try on, or different shades of nail polish — what if consumers actually don’t want that AI?

New research from CMS platform Storyblok says 85% of the 1000 global consumers they polled couldn’t care less about using AI to help them decide on purchases.

When asked if they’d be likely to buy something that AI recommended, only 17% said they would. 60% said it wouldn’t make them more likely to buy anything.

That said, the study doesn’t account for the fact that much of the AI underpinning things like content recommendations or upsells or cart abandonment offers don’t specifically identify themselves as AI-generated — so it’s quite likely that consumers just wouldn’t know.

The study also probed the role of influencers in the marketing funnel, and it showed that sector might be cooling a bit. 57% of consumers said a celebrity or influencer endorsement wouldn’t make them more likely to buy something. Almost a quarter said it would actually make them less likely to buy.

An Inside Look at the Strained Relationship Between X and Marketing Agencies has a great occasional series called Confessions, where they trade anonymity for candor and get access to some of the real stories behind the digital marketing industry.

Today, a fascinating inside look at the strained relationship between marketing agencies and X — the platform formerly known as Twitter — through the lens of an agency pro.

One of the interesting disclosures was that ad sales at X are in a perpetual fire sale, with reps offering $200K of ad impressions for a $100K spend.

That sounds like a great deal, but those are still impressions on a platform generally considered no longer brand-safe.

Here’s a bit of Digiday’s interview with the agency executive:

You always understand when working with social that it’s a lot of user-generated content. That’s always been part of the story when you’ve done brand safety guidelines for clients and things of that nature.

But the narrative has really changed to people are afraid to be on the platform, and these reps are calling and being like, “We’re still safe,”…

A lack of trust has really been developed, where you can’t believe the things that you’re hearing from them anymore. Because the things that you’re hearing from these reps are directly contradicting things that are happening in the news.

On the other hand, it seems X’s dire revenue problems are making their reps much more helpful.

There’s definitely a sign of desperation…

You’re seeing a lot more follow up emails, offers and how can I get in front of you. “Hey, do you want to do a lunch and learn?” “Hey, do you want to do a happy hour and meet?”

Where it was more you RFP’d them, now they’re sending a lot of info themselves, proactively. It’s more them reaching out to you. 

Meta has some of the worst client [reps] I’ve ever seen in my life. Absolutely atrocious. We beg them for help.

It’s the exact opposite with Twitter. It’s like, “Hey, this is available. What do you need?”

The full piece is definitely worth a read if you buy ads on social platforms — it’s on; look for the piece called “Confessions of a strategist on the strained relationship between X (formerly Twitter) and agencies.”

Snapchat is Selling an Ad-Free Subscription Too Now

It looks like Snapchat is following the trend laid out by X and Meta in selling an ad-free subscription plan. It looks like it’ll be an add-on to their paid Snapchat+ plan.

I haven’t seen any formal announcement on this, but there is now a help page up on their site saying:

The Ad-Free Plan for Snapchat+ lets you enjoy Snapchat+ with no Story or Lens ads… You may still see sponsored My AI responses.


It’s apparently still rolling out, but if you have it and want it, you’ll find it under your profile, then under the Snapchat+ banner card at the top.

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And finally…

I have seen the future of live social commerce, and it is depressing.

Vice News posted a video of a Chinese influencer doing a live shopping stream on Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

She’s standing behind a table, someone off-screen throws an box across the table, she holds up the clothing item in it for one second, says something (which I can only assume is like “sweater” or “shoes”), then literally throws the box and does it with the next one.

She’s blasting through these at a rate of probably 40 products a minute.

Honestly, it’s quite compelling to watch.

Vice says the influencer made $13 million dollars in just one week — so much so, that Douyin introduced a new rule saying that you had to at least give a little information about the products if you want to livestream and sell.


After Zheng XiangXiang’s viral success, Douyin decided to make a new rule prohibiting this type of sale and any others that showcase produ... See more

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