Google hosted its 10th annual Google Marketing Live today (May 23), at Google’s Bay View campus in California. A dozen Google employees—including chief business officer Philipp Schindler and vice president of ads Jerry Dischler—presented new ad products and answered questions from advertisers, emphasizing that Google’s ad products are driven by artificial intelligence while protecting users’ privacy.
“When we get (data privacy) right as an industry, everybody wins,” Dischler said during the event.
AI has been a big topic in presentations from Big Tech companies to advertisers. Earlier this month, Meta unveiled new AI-driven advertising products to media buyers. During Google’s event today, executives advocated that AI in advertising is the future but also tried to ease marketers, suggesting human guidance is still necessary. Despite AI being ubiquitous in Google’s products—with the ability to write brand slogans and target audiences using data—”that doesn’t mean you have no control,” said Tim Frank, senior director of product management.
Here’s how it went.
Philipp Schindler sets the stage
Schindler opened the event with a joke written by Bard, Google’s large language model and competitor to ChatGPT. The chief business officer has been in his role since 2015 and at Google since 2005. He slung jargon like “supercharging search” and “bold and responsible,” to describe the company’s advertising strategy. In the broader consumer buying economy, impulse shopping is on the rise, video has exploded and consumers are searching for more specific products, he said.
Jerry Dischler announces chatbot for advertisers
Consumers do more research before they make a purchase, and they are more value-conscious, Dischler said. Google is adding AI-powered chat into the Google Ads interface, Dischler announced. The chat feature is intended to aid advertisers in tasks like writing company summaries and slogans, helping marketers generate high-quality ad copy with less effort, said Sylvanus Bent, group product manager. The product will begin testing in July. Like Schindler, Dischler joined the company in 2005. He has worked as vice president and general manager of ads for three years.
Advertisers applauded Brandye Sweetnam’s product
Brandye Sweetnam, director of product at Google Shopping, presented a generative AI tool that can replace the backgrounds of product images. For example, if a marketer is selling a lotion and they have an image of the bottle, it can appear on a tropical beach, in a bathroom or in the clouds based on the inputted prompts. The tool negates the need for extensive photoshoots and editing. It can be useful to update product images for different seasons and holidays, Sweetnam said. Advertisers applauded—uncommon in presentations of this nature.
Advertisers can review the image to ensure it fits with their marketing strategy before publishing, Frank clarified after the presentation. Meta recently announced a similar background generation tool. Google’s product will be available in the U.S. later this year.
Privacy and advertising can coexist, according to Kamal Janardhan
Google’s focus on privacy might offset some advertisers whose campaigns run on targeting consumers based on their data. For them, senior director of product management Kamal Janardhan said, “Privacy and performance are not at odds.”
Janardhan joined Google last year after a 16-year career at Microsoft, where she spent time as the general manager of policy, privacy and trust. While Google assets like Chrome and Android intend to protect user privacy, there are use cases for data collection, like for advertiser measurement, she said.