Google Unveils Revamped Universal App Campaigns, YouTube TrueView for Action

Google announced a revamped version of its Universal App Campaigns, as well as the new TrueView for Action YouTube campaign type.

Google used the dmexco conference in Cologne, Germany, Wednesday morning to announce a revamped version of its Universal App Campaigns, as well as the new TrueView for Action YouTube campaign type.

Senior vice president of ads and commerce Sridhar Ramaswamy announced “the next generation” of Universal App Campaigns at dmexco, saying that they are available globally to all advertisers across Google Search, Google Play, YouTube and the “millions of sites and apps” in the Google Display Network.

Ramaswamy stressed that rather than simply focusing on application installs, Universal App Campaigns aim to deliver specific in-app activities, using hotel search app Trivago as an example and highlighting its goal of driving users to book stays. He wrote in a blog post:

Like Trivago, you get to choose the in-app activity you want to optimize for, whether that’s tapping into a deal or reaching level 10, and you can use third-party measurement partners or Google’s app measurement solutions like Firebase Analytics to measure those activities. Once your in-app activities are defined within AdWords, you’ve plugged in your analytics solution and set your cost-per-install, Google will put our machine learning algorithm to work.

Universal App Campaigns evaluate countless signals in real-time to continuously refine your ads so you can reach your most valuable users at the right price across Google’s largest properties. As people start to engage with your ads, we learn where you’re finding the highest-value users. For example, we may learn that the users who tap into the most hotel deals are those who watch travel vlogs on YouTube. So, we’ll show more of your ads on those types of YouTube channels.

For Trivago, Universal App Campaigns was able to find users who were more likely to click on hotel deals in-app to book a room. As a result, the travel brand acquired customers who were 20 percent more valuable to its business across both Android and iOS.

This is a major shift in how Google can help you grow your app business. We’re listening, and we’re no longer just focusing on the install. Our goal with Universal App Campaigns is to deliver user engagement and value for the apps you worked so hard to build.


As for TrueView for Action, Ramaswamy called it a way for advertisers to add calls to action—“Get a quote,” “Book now,” “Sign up”—to their video ads, and he wrote in the blog post:

Over the past few years, we’ve evolved our TrueView format to change the way video delivers value for performance marketers. TrueView for app promotion and TrueView for shopping make it incredibly easy for brands to drive downloads and purchases directly from YouTube. But what about brands with other types of conversions, like requesting a quote, booking a hotel, signing up for a newsletter or scheduling a test drive?

Today I’m excited to introduce TrueView for Action: a new format that encourages users to take any online action that’s meaningful for your business.

TrueView for Action makes your video ad more actionable by displaying a tailored call to action during and after your video. This call to action can be adapted to your specific use case, like “Get a quote,” “Book now” or “Sign up.” Since this is an easy add-on to your video, you can drive performance on top of all of the benefits of showing your video to an engaged audience. This is especially advantageous for brands that offer products or services with high consideration, like financial services, automotive or travel.

TrueView for Action can help you move your customers along the path to purchase by encouraging actions like scheduling an appointment or requesting more information. We’re excited to start testing this new format with advertisers throughout the rest of this year.


Finally, Ramaswamy announced at dmexco that Google’s app ads have now driven 3 billion installs for developers, up from the 2 billion the company announced at Google I/O in May.

Readers: What are your initial thoughts on Google’s revamped Universal App Campaigns and TrueView for Action? David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.