The objective: Sampling Android Wear hardware, digitally
New product categories present a particular challenge for brand managers. More than advertising their brand, they have to demonstrate the value of the whole product and teach people what it does. App developers offer free downloads, and snack manufacturers distribute samples. For hardware products like smartwatches, people can play with them in stores or at events, but that isn’t scalable: Marketers can’t mail trial models to every potential customer. And without experiencing one, people likely won’t understand what smartwatches do — or how the devices can improve their daily lives.
That’s the challenge Android Wear faced. Android Wear is Google’s platform for wearables, powering smartwatches from more than ten brands, including Motorola, Nixon, Casio, Michael Kors and TAG Heuer. It allows wearers to track fitness, receive alerts and messages and ask Google for help, right from their wrist. Because they belong to a new category, many people were unaware of Android Wear watches and their features. However, most people who use an Android Wear watch love it.
Knowing the appeal of their platform, the Android Wear marketing team needed to drive awareness and understanding of Android Wear and its features. If people could experience the watch, they could imagine how it would fit into their lives. But to do so, the team needed people to try one.
The idea: Demonstrating a smartwatch in the ad creative
While the Android Wear team couldn’t get a smartwatch onto the wrists of every potential buyer, they could demonstrate the functionality — with interactive mobile ads. Dynamic ads could replicate the Android Wear interface, allowing people to explore the capabilities of watches like they would in a store.
They took this idea to Media Lab, Google’s media team responsible for all Google media executions in partnership with Essence Digital. Together, the Android Wear and Media Lab teams planned the campaign and expanded on the idea. People would interact with more than general smartwatch functions: The ads would be personalized based on location and the individual’s interests. Ads would show how useful Android Wear devices can be, there to help you make the most of your time and connect with friends and family.
With Android Wear we’ve built hardware and software that makes people’s lives easier, and better. We needed to reach people who see technology as something that connects them, something that helps them be who they want to be.
The creation: Learning what people want in a smartwatch
To build compelling creative, Media Lab needed insights into how people would use a smartwatch. The team used Google Consumer Surveys to learn this and find out how likely people were to buy an Android Wear device. They also delved into YouTube analytics, studying Android Wear video search terms to see the interests, demographics and locations of viewers.
The results laid the foundation for the creative. From surveys the team discovered that favorite features changed based on age — and which brand of smartphone respondents owned. Current Android users cared more about voice control and reading or sending messages. People who searched for Android Wear on YouTube had clear interests in sports, given their other searches, which suggested they’d find fitness tracking appealing. The team also saw where searches for Android Wear spiked, data that could direct media buys.
Informed with these insights, Media Lab began developing creative informed by these interests and needs, along with the cities where likely buyers lived:
Source: Search data, revealing where queries for “Android Wear” spiked
The execution: Making Android Wear relevant to life
Media Lab created three creative campaigns with DoubleClick Creative Solutions, DoubleClick's digital studio to build and manage ads. The campaigns were variations on the theme that Android Wear fits your wrist, and your lifestyle.
- Staying connected
- Perfect fit
- Getting out in style
Contextual targeting in DoubleClick Bid Manager and app detection ensured each ad was delivered to the right person. People with messaging apps installed on their phones saw ads showing how Android Wear could keep them connected. Sports enthusiasts saw ads demonstrating that the smartwatches could fit perfectly into their training regimen. People with social and restaurant apps saw ads that showed how Android Wear could help them go out in style.
Imagery and copy also varied based on where the ads were served. The team's location data partner aggregated location data from multiple sources, which allowed for the targeting of specific spots like gyms, running trails or coffee shops. Smart creative and informed reach led to more relevant — and impactful — ads.
Experience an interactive ad
With every piece of creative customized for the user who saw it, Android Wear ads were tailor-made — like Android Wear watches. Scroll across the cities to see the unique Android Wear creative that Media Lab delivered, programmatically.
With so many models available, Android Wear makes you look great going out — and the creative showed how its GPS and restaurant suggestions help you get to where you are going.
Getting out in style
To position Android Wear as a discreet companion, creative emphasized the watches’ glanceable notifications, keeping people in the loop without interfering in their lives.
Fitness support and tracking was a highly valued smartwatch use for Android owners, so creative showed Android Wear setting reminders to go for a run and revealing nearby gyms.
- Perfect fit
- Getting out in style
- Staying connected
The technology: Driving campaigns with data in DoubleClick Bid Manager
The data gathered for the Android Wear campaign led to smarter, better informed creative, which could be built to replicate the smartwatch interface in DoubleClick Creative Solutions. But data also informed the targeting and the tags needed to reach the right people. Once the team had the creative, they trafficked it through DoubleClick Bid Manager, where they aggregated app detection data, allowing the campaigns to reach people with specific apps on their phones.
Perfect Fit ads used location targeting to appear near gyms, yoga, pilates studios, crossfit, cycling and similar fitness centers. In these areas they reached likely “fitness users,” people with fitness tracking apps and who enjoyed fitness content.
Staying Connected ads appeared near airports and travel hubs across the country. The audience also had multiple connectivity and messaging apps on their phones, which offered another data signal that they were interested in staying connected.
People who saw the Getting out In Style ads were near social spots like cafes, bars, concert halls, theatres and restaurants in popular cities. To ensure this targeting was as specific and focused as possible, the ads only reached nearby people who had an interest in fashion and style content, or who used social and restaurant apps.
The results: Engaging ads lifted brand awareness
Expansion rates indicate when ads intrigue and engage people, and the results measured in DoubleClick Campaign Manager revealed the power of Android Wear’s creative. Each campaign had a goal expansion rate of 0.11%, but all of the campaigns ranged between 0.33% and 0.38%.2
Interaction rates were even stronger at 0.78%, meaning almost one out of a hundred people who saw an Android Wear ad interacted with it. These interaction results were 90% higher than the industry benchmark and testified to the success of the campaign. By exploring fitness tracking, notifications and supportive features, people better understood Android Wear smartwatches, and their benefits. Through brand lift surveys, the team learned the campaigns produced a +25% significant relative lift in awareness — and a +8% directional relative lift in consideration to buy an Android Wear smartwatch.3 After seeing the ads, people understood Android Wear better, and they were more likely to buy one of the watches.
 Google internal data
 Google internal data
significant relative lift in awareness — and a +8% directional relative lift in consideration to buy an Android Wear smartwatch.
Conclusion: Data that drives creative also drives results
Dynamic creative allowed the Media Lab team to demo a new product category at scale, giving non-smartwatch owners a chance to explore and interact with the devices, and their features. Through data-informed creative and targeting, the campaign drove overall and feature awareness of Android Wear smartwatches, which led to higher purchase consideration.
This is the fundamental aim of advertising, and it starts with data. For new and existing products, emerging and established brands, ads designed with insights in mind will drive results. DoubleClick technology provided the right tools, and data powered them.
We needed a scalable way for more people to experience Android Wear. Dynamic interactive creative allowed us to bring relevant and beautiful ads to users and do exactly that. We’ve found that by demonstrating a product's capabilities within an ad experience, in a context that makes sense to people, people have a better understanding of the product. So, it makes sense that when people saw our campaign they were more likely to purchase.