Adrian Peter Tse
Feb 2, 2016

Google's Sridhar Ramaswamy: Ad blocking, mobile video and high user expectations

EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Google’s head of advertising sees immense opportunity in mobile, programmatic and video. To capitalise, key players must work together to solve the ad blocking issue

The video above is a companion to a full-length interview by Atifa Silk in the February 2016 Campaign Asia-Pacific. The full article is available to subscribers; selected highlights appear below.

On ad blocking:

Ad blocking is on the rise and consumers are clearly delivering a message to the advertising industry. Some of the things that some publishers do can drive a lot of negative sentiment. The way we need to combat this is by working together and coming up with a standard for what constitutes good advertising, sustainable advertising.
The more we can work together to define these sustainable ads programmes and the more we can make the industry converge, the better dialogue we will have with consumers about making sure ads like that don’t get blocked. Right now ad blockers block everything—the bad and the good—and I think that’s very problematic for all of us.

On video:

I believe in 2016 you’ll see dramatic changes in both video consumption and video advertising across the globe.

On user expectations:

We want more from apps and actual answers. If we’re shopping, we want to be able to complete the whole session right away rather than come back to it. We’re operating in a more connected world, but also a more demanding world. Frankly, there’s higher expectation of what a good consumer experience is. These are big changes for how businesses operate.

On tech helping advertisers:

Mobile has made the advertisers’ job more complex. How do they reach consumers and what are people’s behaviours on mobile? So simple things that worked before are suddenly more complex. But this is where products that can actually deal with the complexity and still deliver a compelling user and advertiser experience can be very powerful.

We’re doing a lot to show the link between online behaviour on mobile phones and actual services. We have a product that tells advertisers the fraction of people that clicked on ads who also went and visited their store.... It’s a strong link between what happens online and actual behaviour within a store, and we think it’s a big deal.  

On artificial intelligence:

Within the ads world at Google, we’ve always been big fans of machine learning.... But I think what’s really exciting over the past few years is the rise of things like Google Brain, which uses neural networks to do a much better job with these machine learning problems. I believe it’s the potential that that technology has in terms of making it possible to place much better ads, that’s very exciting. 


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