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Growth Sciences Report: Bumper Machine, 9 Months Later

Published: March 3, 2020

Author: Tom Leonard

Nine months ago, Google announced Bumper Machine at GML. Today, in honor of GML being just around the quarter (see what I did there?), I wanted to take a look back at how we’ve leveraged the tool at 3Q and if, after all the waves it made at GML, it still matters. 
YouTube advertising

Features and Usability

At the time I wrote out my initial thoughts, my first-hand experience using the tool was limited to the demo set up at GML. I noted that the tool was easy to use and created a surprisingly appealing end product. As you’d imagine, in the real world, it’s not as seamless as it, well, seems. 
The ML component of the product is intriguing and can get you off to a good start, but the reality is you’ll be doing a lot of the fine- (and medium-) tuning yourself. The ability to edit audio and video independently is incredibly helpful, but at the end of the day all you’re doing is cutting out two sections that add up to six seconds; this is limiting. 
I’d like to see advertisers get the ability to cut audio/video into more than two sections and also add a “fade in/out” option to the audio. We’ve found that in most cases it makes the most sense to leverage Bumper Machine for ideation and then edit the raw video and audio files to more precisely get the look and feel (and sound) we want. For some advertisers this isn’t possible, and that’s where Bumper Machine really shines. 


After nine months and numerous campaigns, Bumper Machine has brought home the concept of ideal bumper usage. As we’ve seen internally and from 3Qer Ashley Mo’s SMX talk this year, the bumpers should always be considered. When running mid- to upper-funnel campaigns, bumpers help increase reach and/or frequency to drive home a campaign’s’ key points. Because Bumper ads typically cost 2-3x less than a standard skippable ad, brands need to think about how they can break up their story into bite-sized pieces to either amplify their longer-form creative or string bumpers together in a sequence and ditch the skip button altogether. 
GML brought us a number of new features in 2019, and we’re looking forward to June to see what else Google has up their sleeves. Are you going to GML this year? Let us know! 

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