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Google Bets On AI-Powered Video Ads To Disrupt Social Media Advertising

Google launches AI-powered Demand Gen ads to divert social media ad dollars from Facebook and Instagram.

  • Google launched a new ad product called Demand Gen.
  • Demand Gen uses AI to create targeted video/image ads.
  • The apparent goal is driving social media ad dollars away from Facebook/Instagram.

Google announced the launch of a new advertising product called Demand Gen Campaigns, which utilizes AI to create highly targeted video and image ads on YouTube and other Google platforms.

This new ad product aims to help advertisers extend their social strategies beyond traditional platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Demand Gen represents Google’s latest effort to compete with traditional social sites for advertising dollars.

Demand Gen Campaign Details

Demand Gen Campaigns utilize video ads up to 15 seconds long, ideal for pre-and mid-roll YouTube placements, and image carousels tailored for mobile.

Advertisers can use Demand Gen’s creative tools to tailor ad content and messaging for different audience segments.

Formats like bumper ads and carousels aim to capture attention and interest as users scroll through feeds.

In addition to compelling creative, Demand Gen applies Google’s powerful AI to identify “lookalike” audiences that share characteristics with a brand’s existing customers.

Bidding and budget tools allow granular control over ad delivery to drive clicks, site traffic, or conversions.

Google says Demand Gen gives advertisers more flexibility to refine campaigns based on performance data.

Responding To Shifts In Consumer Behavior

Screenshot from: October 2023.

Demand Gen campaigns come when consumer viewing habits are rapidly shifting.

Recent surveys show viewers now split their social media time between traditional platforms like Facebook and Instagram and video sites like YouTube.

According to Google’s research, 90% of users have watched content from a particular creator or artist across multiple platforms and formats in the past year.

Experts attribute the shift to “social media fatigue” as users tire of highly-curated feeds on sites like Instagram. YouTube is seen as a place for more genuine engagement with creators.

Helping Advertisers Respond To Changing Behavior

A shift in viewing habits presents challenges for advertisers used to targeting audiences primarily on Facebook and Instagram. Google’s Demand Gen is designed to help advertisers capitalize on this change in habits.

Google claims that Demand Gen Campaigns can help advertisers take advantage of this shift through visually compelling ads tailored to specific audiences. The ads aim to capture user interest as they browse YouTube, Google Discover, and other parts of the Google ecosystem.

Early adopters like Naranja X, an Argentine fintech startup, have already seen strong results from Demand Gen tests. Naranja X’s Demand Gen ads drove 3X higher click-through rates at 61% lower cost than its paid social campaigns. Samsung Germany also saw a 400% increase in click-through rates using the new ad product.


Demand Gen Campaigns officially rolled out worldwide on October 10, replacing Google’s previous Discovery ads product.

Discovery campaigns will be phased out through early 2024.

The launch of Demand Gen is arguably Google’s most aggressive move yet to take on rival advertising platforms like Meta.

If Demand Gen gains traction, it could motivate Meta to enhance its video ad offerings to remain competitive.

Featured Image: PixieMe/Shutterstock

SEJ STAFF Matt G. Southern Senior News Writer at Search Engine Journal

Matt G. Southern, Senior News Writer, has been with Search Engine Journal since 2013. With a bachelor’s degree in communications, ...

Google Bets On AI-Powered Video Ads To Disrupt Social Media Advertising

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