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Google Marketing Live: Bumper Machine and Why It Matters

Published: May 20, 2019

Author: Tom Leonard

Following up on our first recap of the announcements at Google Marketing Live, today we’re diving into another announcement from the event – the launch of Bumper Machine. This tool, previously only used by Google reps behind the scenes, is now coming to the UI for beta testers to use. For those who missed it, here’s the rundown.
Bumper Machine takes an existing video that’s up to 90 seconds in length and cuts it into three or four, six-second bumpers using (surprise, surprise) machine learning. The tool finds the most impactful parts of the ad (think faces, movement, brand name, logo, product, good contrast, etc.) to create the new ads. In addition to just getting a few versions to potentially use, advertisers get editing features directly in the UI to make small tweaks to both audio and video if the machine doesn’t get things exactly right.
I had the chance to play with Bumper Machine this week at GML and I was surprised at how well it worked. Granted, it was a Google-run demo with an ad they chose, but given how well other ML products work, I have high hopes for the tool, and I’m excited to see it in action with our own clients’ ads.

Why It Matters

Bumper Machine does two things that I think are really important. First, it levels the playing field for advertisers who don’t have creative development resources. For some advertisers, it can be hard enough to get a single ad created, let alone multiple versions and lengths. Bumper Machine will be great for those advertisers. Secondly, for advertisers who do have more robust creative resources, Bumper Machine shows what’s possible in six seconds, and those creative resources can use them as inspiration for future, more well-produced bumpers. Advertisers are often so used to 30-second ads that they take a 10-second message and stretch it out over 30 just for the sake of having a 30-second ad. While this may work on TV, where a user has no choice but to watch, on YouTube by the time you’re remotely close to introducing your brand to potential new users, they’ve already skipped you.
While 6 seconds sounds incredibly short, you’d be amazed how much information you can get across. With ad sequencing, you can also string together multiple bumpers to tell a longer brand story in a less intrusive, but non-skippable way. In fact, according to research shared at GML, three bumper sequences have shown a 107% higher ad recall lift and 134% higher purchase intent lift than a 30-second TrueView ad. We look forward to testng this internally at 3Q to validate these claims and are excited about a future where bumper ads are easier to obtain.

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