Google has begun testing a new paid search ad unit, called Media Ads, which are expandable video units that are guaranteed to appear at the top of the results page. The new units are currently only available to movie studios (360i is a test partner).
Media Ad unit for the Universal Pictures film Hop (image via Google)
The new units allow advertisers to leverage a searcher’s whereabouts (via geo-targeting) in order to deliver them more relevant information, such as when and where films are playing in their region. In addition, Media Ads grant searchers a theatre-like video experience via an expandable movie trailer that plays in full screen HD.
360i tested Media Ads for two Universal Pictures titles, Hop and Your Highness, as soon as Google launched the units in beta. The timing was ideal for Hop in particular, as the search campaign for the much anticipated animated film was just ramping up. Early results for the ad unit proved impressive, with significantly higher CTRs compared to the traditional search ads that ran on Google.
These results indicate that Google’s Media Ads resonate well with searchers looking for information on new film releases. As Laurie Sullivan recently noted in MediaPost, search trends for feature films continue to rise – with moviegoers searching 1.75X more per movie in 2010, compared with 2008.
Media Ads are part of a larger Google initiative to provide advertisers with a more diverse range of ad formats that deliver richer types of information to searchers. Other new formats include Comparison Ads and Product Listing ads.
-Victoria Austin, Media Supervisor at 360i