Google’s New Ads Make Retail Therapy Easier Than Ever


Female hand holding paper shopping bags isolated on white

Retail therapy helps Americans deal with their stress and anxiety, and now Google is making it even easier for people to treat themselves, in every sense of the word.

According to a 2013 survey by the Huffington Post, nearly one in three stressed Americans — which is about 91% of the general population — shops as a coping mechanism.

It’s no wonder why retail therapy exists, either. People buy home decor to make themselves chipper, as about 14% of surveyed consumers reported their home furnishings making them feel gloomy. People buy junk food to make them feel happier, as carbohydrates have been shown to lead to a boost in serotonin. People buy wedding and baby supplies leading up to the big life transitions, psychologists have found, as doing so allows for more control over the situations, which in turn eases anxiety.

Now, Google is making retail therapy even easier. The monolithic tech company is launching shoppable ads on YouTube, which will allow users to directly buy the products they see being advertised before their videos play.

The new feature is called “TrueView.” It lets retailers embed clickable banners into their ads that direct consumers right to the product’s site. It also lists other similar products beneath the ad with links to their sites as well.

The idea just makes good sense. For example, say you watch a video of Gordon Ramsey giving a cooking lesson, which is preceded by an ad for a new appliance, and a clickable button that takes you to a page with all sorts of new kitchen utensils and appliances.

“TrueView for shopping enables advertisers to scale the manual process of connecting individual products with individual videos,” said Google in a blog post. “Thanks to the first-ever integration of the Google Merchant Center into video ads, advertisers need only connect their campaign with a Merchant Center feed to dynamically add products to their in-stream videos, customized for each user through contextual and audience signals like geography and demographic info.”

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