By Louise Medley

Media Ads are a new ad format featured on Google Search that enhance the way people interact with rich media content. Find out why we like them!

  • Search

Back to blog home

For now the ads are only available to entertainment industries, covering music, films and video games. Instead of a standard text ad appearing at the top of the search results page when someone types a query into Google, a small thumbnail appears alongside the ad text, with the option to view a trailer for the respective content. The video below gives a run through of how they work. (Tip: view in full screen and watch until the end).

What you need to know

Campaign set up

The campaign is set up in a way that each product/film/album has an individual ad group with exact match keywords only. This is great to see specific product performance at a glance for optimisation and your ads will be appearing for what is relevant.

YouTube content

Videos can be taken from uploaded YouTube content. This can be taken from any channel or user so you do not have to necessarily generate your own content. The videos must be a minimum of 480p, but ideally viewable in 720p to provide end users with the best experience.


By having a fixed cpc this flat rate means you can forecast budgets based on your search cost per acquisition and conversion rate data. It’s good to know that regardless of whether the user clicks to view the trailer, clicks directly to purchase the content, or does both, an advertiser is only ever charged a maximum of one click per session.

Call to action

There is a great feature that encourages people to ‘Pre-Order’ or ‘Buy Now’ as seen below. If you opt in for pre-order this automatically switches to buy now when the product becomes available, based on a release date that is specified during the setup process.

Defiance PS3

Search behaviour

Media ads cut down the typical search process. If someone is looking for the release of a new computer game they would complete a journey that looks something like this:

  1. Type in ‘The Last of Us trailer’ in Google
  2. Click on the search result, normally directing them to YouTube
  3. Watch the trailer
  4. Return to Google and type in another query including a retailer option
  5. Click on a text ad, arrive at the retailers website and make a purchase

By offering Media Ads the user searches on Google, remains on that page and subsequently views the trailer. They then visit the retailer’s website via the call to action in the text advert. Put short, this means that we’re able to keep the attention of a prospective customer, as they’re not leaving the SERPs to carry out necessary research.

Search ads vs. Media ads

When comparing data between an exact match keyword in both a search campaign and a media ad campaign for the same product, there were a number of key differences in performance. Media Ads have had:

  • 90% more clicks even with 29% fewer impressions
  • 170% higher clickthrough rate
  • 50% higher conversion rate
  • a cost per conversion that was 23% lower than in search
  • an overall cost 51% less than the search campaign

So what are we saying?

Media Ads are not only a great way to encourage brand awareness and user engagement around products yet to be released, but they are an effective option for direct response campaigns.

The fixed costs enable you to have a high level of control in budget forecasting, and results shown above in comparison to search offer lower CPAs and great ROI opportunities.

In a nutshell, we think they look pretty cool.

Get involved

Interested? If you’d like to find out more please get in touch.

Share this article