Creating a visually rich Ad on Google just got a lot easier and can be done automatically through a new partnership with Shutterstock.
Finding the perfect image for your Google Ad can now be automated as Google, and stock photo company Shutterstock finalized a licensing deal that will give Google advertisers access to a library of more than 90 million images. The images can be used by marketers who run Google’s AdWords, AdSense, and AdMob platforms and can be selected manually or automatically by Google.
The Shutterstock integration into Google ad products is at the API level, meaning advertisers and marketers who use Google ad platforms will be able to access Shutterstock’s library directly through their existing Google ad apps. Advertisers can select photos, videos, and vector images to pair with their ad copy or they can allow Google to use its proprietary technology to automatically, or programmatically, choose the photos.
The move by Google appears to be part of a broader plan to make it easier for companies to create advertising on their platforms. The company recently released a set of tools that make it easier for companies to build ads on YouTube. The app is supposedly so easy to use that users don’t need any video production or editing experience to make their video ads easily.
The integration with Shutterstock will now make it easy for marketers to create image-rich ads throughout Google’s ad network. “High-quality images are essential to creating engaging marketing for advertisers of all sizes. Shutterstock’s API has enabled a fast and seamless integration to enable Google to offer Shutterstock’s vast image library for digital advertising,” Woojin Kim, director of product management at Google, said.
While users will have the option to choose images manually, the real benefit of the API integration is that ads can add pictures automatically. Shutterstock has developed a technology that will programmatically analyze the copy of the advertisement and find images that should work with it.
To make sure the images are working, the company’s API solution will test the performance of the ads and try new models until it finds the best one. “We developed our API and enterprise platforms to make it easy for companies like Google to access professional, high-quality content at scale and in a way that makes sense for their
unique workflow,” said Jon Oringer, Shutterstock’s Founder and CEO.”
The move will make it easier for brands and marketers to create their display ads on Google without the need for agencies or image making specialists. This might seem like a boon for small businesses who can’t afford expensive productions, but it could also lead to a boom in poorly worded, and stale imaged display ads. Consumers have shown a growing distaste for banner and display ads, and it isn’t clear that the new offering will improve the quality of these ads.
In response to a PageFair report about the rise of ad blocking, Luis Di Como, Senior Vice-President of Global Media at Unilever and member of the WFA Executive Committee noted that “as an industry, we need to focus on creating content that is authentic, relevant for consumers and drives talkability – creative that enhances rather than detracts from users’ online experiences. We have the ambition to create a billion one-to-one relationship with our consumers through providing positive brand experiences.”
Stock images, automatically placed on copy written by business owners instead of ad professionals may appeal to small businesses for its price but not necessarily to the public for its quality (or lack of quality). The new Google offering has some potential appeal and may end up creating create ads, but it is also possible, and even likely, that making it easier to make bad ads might hurt more than it helps.